Fortunately for the Chamberlain and Durant softball teams, national preseason rankings are based more on what squads did last year than last night.
The two local reigning state champions are among the top 25 in MaxPreps' preseason Xcellent 25 softball rankings released Wednesday. The 22nd-ranked Cougars (3-1) return seven starters -- including ace Paige Davis (pictured) -- from last season's Class 8A championship team but fell to Plant, 7-4, on Tuesday.
The Chiefs (4-1), reigning 8A champs, are No. 15. Coach Bob Diez's club, which returns the battery of P Rachel Dwyer and power-hitting C Lindsey Hagberg, got a home run, double and four RBIs from Amber Fullwood -- another veteran -- in Tuesday's six-inning, 13-1 rout of Gaither.
That victory put Diez, who has won two state titles and has led Chamberlain to seven final four berths during his tenure, at 499 career wins. He can earn No. 500 Friday at Wiregrass Ranch.