Rancho Santiago College begins defense of its state softball title when the Southern California Regional Tournament gets under way today at Golden West College.
The Dons (35-5) are the No. 1 seed in the eight-team tournament and will play at noon against Los Angeles Pierce (20-11).
Other first-round pairings match No. 3-seeded Pasadena City (25-9) against Cerritos (31-12) and No. 4-seeded San Diego Mesa (26-10) against Chaffey (22-7), both at 10 a.m. Second-seeded Palomar (29-8) meets Taft (19-13) at noon.
The double-elimination tournament's second-round winners meet at 4 p.m., and the winners of those games meet at 8 p.m.
The championship game is scheduled for 2 p.m. Sunday. The top two finishers compete for the state championship next weekend at Napa Valley College.
Rancho Santiago is led by Laura Janzen. Janzen, the South Coast Conference's Most Valuable Player, batted .333 in 40 games.