Darren Cooper


While most of the North Jersey softball world was focused on the county tournaments over the weekend, a handful of league races (aka division races) are coming down to the wire.

Division titles get overlooked by a lot of people, including me, but they are super important to a lot of programs, especially the small schools.

We might have a winner-take-all division game in the NJIC Liberty division this week when Leonia meets Ridgefield on Friday. Both teams are 6-1 in the division. Ridgefield won the first meeting, 5-4. Saddle Brook is also in the mix to make it a three-way tie.

It looks like Glen Rock and Hawthorne will play a division championship game next week for the NJIC Colonial. The Panthers won the first meeting, 9-0. Those two teams have cleared the rest of the pack.

Wallington took a big step toward an NJIC Meadowlands division title with a win over Wood-Ridge last week. The Panthers are one game up on the Blue Devils with two to play.

For all their success, Weehawken still doesn’t have the NJIC National division won yet. The Indians meet Rutherford on Wednesday, and a Rutherford win would create a tie and probably a split title. Weehawken beat the Bulldogs, 2-1, early in the season.

I always say the NJIC Patriot is the most balanced division, and there are still four teams with a shot at the title: Park Ridge, New Milford, Waldwick and Emerson. The big surprise here is New Milford, which started 2-6 and has won nine of its last 10 and nearly cracked the rankings

Top 25 Softball rankings

1. Immaculate Heart Academy (21-2)

2. Ramsey (17-2)

3. Weehawken (14-1)

4. Ramapo (20-4)

5. Indian Hills (15-8-1)

6. Passaic Tech (16-7)

7. Old Tappan (15-6)

8. Ridgefield Park (16-7)

9. Ridgewood (14-8)

10. Wallington (18-3)

11. Park Ridge (13-4)

12. Rutherford (13-4-1)

13. Glen Rock (15-5)

14. St. Mary (13-6)

15. Hawthorne (16-3)

16. Waldwick (13-5)

17. DePaul (12-10)

18. River Dell (17-6)

19. Fair Lawn (11-10)

20. Wayne Valley (11-8)

21. Bergen Tech (12-7)

22. Passaic Valley (11-7)

23. Paramus Catholic (14-10)

24. Bergenfield (13-7)

25. Lakeland/Kinnelon (11-7)