The Gators have won 17 straight games, their three losses have come against out-of-state teams and they have passed every test from 5A opponents under first-year coach A.J. Coleman.
With two weeks left before the playoffs, Green Valley is 2½ games clear of second-place Centennial in the 5A Desert League standings. The Gators have established themselves as the top team in their league and the favorite to repeat as state champions.
Senior pitcher Avari Morris has helped lead the Gators on the mound and at the plate to a 17-3 record, and they have outscored opponents 150-38.
Green Valley’s toughest test came against Faith Lutheran. The Gators held on for a 4-3 home win April 4. They play again Friday at Faith Lutheran, where a win would all but wrap up the Desert League title for the Gators.
Both teams battled in last year’s playoffs. Faith Lutheran won the Southern League title, but Green Valley beat Faith Lutheran in an elimination game in the state tournament on its way to the title.
The battle atop the Mountain League is closer. Shadow Ridge is a game ahead of second-place Palo Verde.
The Mustangs have been led by stellar pitching from junior Josslin Law, who is 10-0 with a 0.79 ERA. She has recorded 105 strikeouts in 71 1/3 innings and is hitting .316.
Reigning 4A state champion Bishop Gorman has overcome losing several key members off last year’s team to hold a half-game lead over second-place Tech in the Mountain League.
Tech’s lone league loss was a 4-3 defeat at Gorman on April 14. They will play again May 3 at Tech.
Cimarron-Memorial and Silverado are tied atop the Desert League. Cimarron rolled to a 9-3 road win over Silverado on April 12. They will play again May 4.
In 3A, Virgin Valley (26-0) has had its toughest competition from out-of-state teams. The Bulldogs have outscored opponents 327-61, winning every league game by double digits.
Getting through the Southern League playoffs and back to the state championship round shouldn’t be too challenging for Virgin Valley, which lost twice to Fernley last year for the state title.