Preps

Wednesday, Mar 20 2013 11:09 PM

Frontier's lofty rankings speak highly of SWYL

BY ZACH EWING Californian staff writer zewing@bakersfield.com

Frontier's undefeated softball team has popped into the MaxPreps' Xcellent 25 national rankings, all the way up at No. 8 in the country.

But if that lofty ranking is accurate, the Southwest Yosemite League as a whole is pretty good, too. The Titans have needed comebacks to get through their first two league games unscathed -- last week at Centennial and Wednesday at home against Liberty. On Wednesday, Liberty got two sixth-inning runs to take a 3-2 lead but Frontier answered with two of its own in the sixth to win, 4-3.

Frontier reached as high as No. 4 in MaxPreps' national computer rankings last week, but that numbers-based ranking has dropped to No. 86. Instead, the human writers at the national website have noticed, noting the Titans outscored their first 11 opponents 112-9.

Six Titans carried averages of better than .400 into Wednesday's game, led by Karissa Nickeson (.667) and Brenna Vasquez (.656).

Gatorade MVP is from Oregon

Mercedes Russell, a 6-foot-6 center for Springfield (Ore.) High School, was named Gatorade's National Girls Basketball Player of the Year on Wednesday.

Ridgeview senior Erica McCall won Gatorade's State Player of the Year award and so was a finalist for the national honor. McCall, the state-record holder in blocked shots in a single season and in a career, will go to Stanford next season.

Russell is ranked the nation's top recruit and will attend Tennessee. Both she and McCall will play for the West team at the McDonald's All-American Game next month in Chicago.

Klinchuch flies high for LBSU

Liberty graduate Amanda Klinchuch, a senior at Long Beach State, cleared a personal-record 12 feet in the pole vault last week at the Aztec Invitational in San Diego last week.

Klinchuch, the school-record holder for Liberty and a three-time CIF State Championships qualifier, now ranks No. 7 in Long Beach State history in the event.

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