The countdown is on. The softball playoff pairings will be announced May 27.
We are beginning to get some clarity of the four divisions even between the raindrops.
Division I, though, is anything but clear. Mount Anthony’s 8-6 victory over Brattleboro throws another twist into what looks like one of the most wide open scrambles in this division in years.
We still like Brattleboro on the top rung of the ladder because of the pitching of Hailey Derosia. But the footing on that rung is a little more tenuous.
Mount Abraham had a misstep and Springfield takes over the top spot in Division II in this week’s Rutland Herald / Times Argus power rankings.
Division III boasts a couple of elite teams in Oxbow and BFA-Fairfax and that would make for a dream final at Castleton University on the weekend of June 6-8. Green Mountain and White River Valley might have different ideas.
West Rutland leapfrogs Danville in Division IV for the No. 1 spot. Yes, the Golden Horde suffered a loss to Mill River, but we are putting more stock in their sweep of Green Mountain.
The Horde, Danville and Proctor have a chance to snare the brass ring and there is a perceptible drop off after that.
1. Brattleboro 8-2 (1) Three Division I teams are unbeaten so why is a two-loss Brattleboro team still No. 1? Pitching. Five shutouts. It is the name of the game.
2. Essex 6-0 (5) The D-I Hornets have improved immeasurably since I saw them in the opener.
3. Oxbow 10-0 (3) The Olympians are still perfect and also boast six shutouts.
4. Mount Anthony 5-2 (4) That 8-6 victory over D-I rival Brattleboro really gets your attention.
5. Missisquoi 11-0 (6) The Division I Thunderbirds’ schedule is suspect but they keep on winning.
6. Springfield 7-2 (9) The Cosmos have Hannah Crosby in the circle and plenty of pieces around her. They just might be the best in Division II now.
7. BFA-Fairfax 9-1 (7) Like many, I tend to think Division III is tougher than Division II. The Bullets are the chief challenger to Oxbow and their lone loss is to Missisquoi.
8. Lyndon 9-0 (2) The Division I Vikings have played exactly one game against a Division I opponent. Still, they haven’t had a close call yet so they bear watching in the playoffs.
9. BFA-St. Albans 7-2 (10) The D-I Comets have some quality wins over teams like CVU and South Burlington.
10. South Burlington 8-3 (UR) You have to like the Wolves’ 4-3 road victory over CVU.
Our top fives:
Division II: 1. Springfield 7-2, 2. Mount Abraham 7-3, 3. Enosburg 8-2, 4. Otter Valley 7-3, 5. Mill River 5-4.
Division III: 1. Oxbow 9-2, 2. BFA-Fairfax 9-1, 3. Green Mountain 9-2, 4. White River Valley 7-0, 5. Richford 3-4.
Division IV: 1. West Rutland 10-1, 2. Danville 6-1, 3. Proctor 7-2, 4. Blue Mountain 2-5, 5. Poultney 4-7.