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Softball district rankings: Who's in? Who's out?

The first PIAA District 3 softball power rankings were released Friday, so it’s time to take a look at which Hanover-Adams area teams are in, on the bubble or on the outside looking in.

Several of the local teams are right on the bubble, making the final few weeks of the season that much more exciting.

Power ratings are determined by a formula that factors each team’s winning percentage and their opponent’s winning percentage.

Class AAAA – top 16 teams qualify for postseason

On the bubble: South Western (7-4, 16th out of 38 overall, .662 rating)

The Mustangs are as "on the bubble" as a team could possibly be. They sit in the 16th and final playoff spot in AAAA and teams 14-18 are all within .002 percentage points of each other.

South Western's strength of schedule is average among AAAA teams, so the Mustangs will need as many wins down the stretch as they can get. They were riding a six-game win streak before Dallastown beat them, 8-1, on Thursday.

Following an invitational over the weekend, the Mustangs get Central York (11-1, 5th in AAAA) and arch-rival Spring Grove (5-7, 18th in Class AAA) next week.

Work left to do: New Oxford (4-7, 26th out of 38 overall, .508 rating)

The bad news for New Oxford: There are 10 teams between them and a district postseason berth.

The good news: They've won two in a row and have a fairly easy schedule over the next three games.

Class AAA – top 16 teams qualify for postseason

In: Littlestown (12-2, 9th out of 33 overall, .692 rating)

This squad is young. They can hit. They can pitch. And they have won eight games in a row, including two over traditional-powerhouse Delone Catholic. The Bolts have earned their spot at the table this year and they're here to stay.

The schedule isn't overwhelmingly intimidating the rest of the way, so the Bolts seem to be a safe bet to land a postseason berth.

On the bubble: Spring Grove (5-7, 18th out of 33 overall, .569 rating), Gettysburg (8-6, 19th out of 33 overall, .563 rating)

When the Rockets are on, they're really on. That was evident when they launched four home runs in a 7-4 win over Susquehannock and when they scored 13 first-inning runs in a win over Red Lion.

They've also lost five games by two runs or less and sit .008 percentage points outside of the top 16. That's tough, but the Rockets are very much alive. They have a feisty New Oxford squad, then three straight against the top three YAIAA Division I teams (Dallastown, Central, South Western), before wrapping up with Red Lion (1-10).

Meanwhile, Gettysburg has won four of their last six to sneak onto the bubble. The Warriors' overall record is better than the five teams in front of them in the rankings, but their opponents' winning percentage (.507) is among the worst in all of AAA and they don't have a single win against a team with a winning record.

Class AA – top 10 teams qualify for postseason

In: Delone Catholic (9-4, 5th out of 18 overall, .581 rating)

The rest of the schedule is light for the Squirettes, who have a legitimate chance at winning out now that their two games against Littlestown are behind them. That would set Delone up nicely with a chance to return to the AA title game.

Out of six remaining games, Delone plays just one team with a record above .500 and that's Bishop McDevitt in the season finale.

On the bubble: Fairfield (4-8, 10th out of 18 overall, .395 rating), Hanover (4-11, 12th out of 18 overall, .379 rating), Biglerville (4-10, 13th out of 18 overall, .378 rating), Bermudian Springs (3-10, 14th out of 18 overall, .363 rating)

Let's move past the fact that teams that are 4-8, 4-11, 4-10, and 3-10 are in serious contention for a playoff berth. That's just how Class AA is shaking out.

After starting 3-4, the Green Knights and Nighthawks have both lost four of their last five, but Fairfield still hangs on to the last playoff spot.

Hanover and Bermudian actually have the two strongest opponents' winning percentages in AA, which is helping keep them in contention.

The Canners have lost five of six, but have a favorable schedule remaining. They also get a shot at fellow bubble-mates Fairfield and Hanover.

Essentially, if any of these four teams get hot or string together a few wins, the last three playoff slots are there for the taking.