Sometimes, it’s not so much if you lose, but when you lose. And who you lose to.
At least that’s the way it’s working in this week’s state softball rankings.
A loss or two very early in the season might keep a team out of the rankings for a while. But once established in the top-10, a bump in the road might not have as much impact.
Take Kentlake, for instance. The Falcons were unbeaten a week ago and ranked No 3 in Class 4A. Then they stumbled against an up-and-coming Auburn Riverside team, followed by a loss to then-No. 5 Tahoma. And after that they came back to win the rematch with Tahoma.
So what to do?
I still think Kentlake and Tahoma are top-10 teams and they obviously are pretty comparable with one another. But because Kentlake also had the loss to AR, Tahoma gets the higher spot this week. The Bears are No. 6 with Kentlake No. 7.
Marsyville-Pilchuck climbs to No. 4 and Eastlake rised to No. 5, despite the loss to top-ranked Woodinville. The Wolves gave a pretty good accounting of themselves in that game. Plus, they beat Juanita (ranked No. 2 in 3A).
Wenatchee drops out after dropping a DH to No. 2 Walla Walla. The Panthers were swept earlier by No. 3 Richland and have five losses overall.
I decided Puyallup deserves a spot after the two 1-0 victories over Spanaway Lake. The Vikings come in at No. 8 and Spanaway clings to the No. 10 spot. Rogers of Puyallup and South Kitsap also got a lot of consideration. Arlington hangs in at No. 9, despite losing to Snohomish.
In 3A, Holy Names gets the top spot this week after University of Spokane lost to Ferris (a 4A team). The Titans don’t fall far — just to No. 3. Everything else stands.
Tournament play begins in most leagues this week, so we’ll see how these hold up as some of the top teams start squaring off.
1. Woodinville (16-0)
2. Walla Walla (19-1)
3. Richland (18-2)
4. Marysville-Pilchuck (14-1)
5. Eastlake (Sammamish) (14-2)
6. Tahoma (Maple Valley) (15-2)
7. Kentlake (15-2)
8. Puyallup (13-3)
9. Arlington (14-3)
10. Spanaway Lake (14-2)
Others to watch — Auburn Riverside, Bellarmine Prep (Tacoma), Heritage (Vancouver), Jackson (Mill Creek), Jefferson (Federal Way), Mead (Spokane), Redmond, Rogers (Puyallup), Skyview (Vancouver), South Kitsap (Port Orchard), Stadium (Tacoma), Union (Vancouver).
1. Holy Names (Seattle) (18-2)
2. Juanita (Kirkland) (16-2)
3. University (Spokane) (16-3)
4. Sedro-Woolley (12-2-1)
5. Kamiakin (Kennewick) (18-2)
6. Everett (15-2)
7. Bainbridge (15-3)
8. Kelso (14-3)
9. Bonney Lake (16-1)
10. Wilson (Tacoma) (12-0)
Others to watch — Bellevue, Camas, Highline (Burien), Hudson’s Bay, Kennedy Catholic (Burien), Meadowdale (Lynnwood), Mount Spokane, Mountain View (Vancouver), Mountlake Terrace, Peninsula, Prairie (Vancouver), Southridge (Kennewick).