Valley Central earns top spot in Top 10 rankings

About a week ago, it was what’s up with Valley Central?

After opening the season with a win over Washingtonville, the Vikings lost to Pine Bush and Minisink Valley back-to-back. Pine Bush and Minisink Valley are quality outfits, but Valley Central, your Section 9 Class AA champion for three years in a row (2010-12) rarely lose two in a row.

Even after those losses, nobody was ready to write off Valley Central. But, just in case, Valley Central is back. The Vikings defeated streaking Warwick 7-2 on Monday in an OCIAA Division II showdown. Valley Central has now won four in a row with its last three coming against heavy hitters Kingston, Middletown and Warwick.

That run has put Valley Central in a familiar spot: On top of the Varsity845 top 10 softball rankings. Check them out.

1. Valley Central (5-2): Rebecca Wentink had three big hits for Valley Central against Warwick, Taylor Canto had a three-run double and Cindy Connoly was, well, Cindy Connoly. She had 10 strikeouts.

2. Middletown (9-2): Had a big win against Ashley Cruise-less Kingston and a belated shout out to the Middies for taking Pine Bush out last week. Pine Bush beat Middletown for last year’s Class AA title.

3. Warwick (9-2): The Valley Central loss ended an impressive nine-game winning streak by Warwick.

4. Kingston (6-4): Will have to tread water for a bit with ace Ashley Cruise out indefinitely with a broken finger. When Cruise comes back, the Tigers can beat anyone.

5. Roosevelt (10-2): After beating Marlboro on Monday, Roosevelt looks like the class of the MHAL.

6. Pine Bush (5-4): Stephanie Manley and Kathleen Parise having big years for Pine Bush, which has struggled over the past two weeks.

7. Marlboro (8-3): In case you missed it, check out today’s Varsity845 feature online on Marlboro shortstop Andrea Schoonmaker.

8. Minisink Valley (5-3): How deep and dangerous is Class AA this year? Minisink Valley has a win over No. 1 Valley Central. Big games upcoming for the Warriors against Pine Bush and Middletown.

9. Highland (8-1): No, we haven’t forgotten about Highland, always lurking. Always a MHAL and Section 9 Class B player.

10. S.S. Seward (5-4): Lost one-run games to Minisink Valley and Warwick last week. Pound for pound, Seward has toughest schedule in Section 9.

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