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Community College State Softball Tournament : Teams Have Different Pasts, Similar Present

May 23, 1987|STEVE KRESAL

Rancho Santiago and Saddleback colleges enter today's first round in the state community college softball tournament at Palomar College with different histories.

Rancho Santiago is a team of tradition. The Dons have won the last two state titles under Coach Jim Reach, who will retire after the season.

Saddleback is making its first appearance in the state tournament, much to Coach Pete Morris' delight.

"This is absolutely incredible," he said. "We've gone further than I ever expected to."

Saddleback (35-11) plays Sacramento City (36-9), and Rancho Santiago (34-9) plays San Joaquin Delta (36-9), with both games at noon. Second-round games follow, and the championship is Sunday at noon.

Reach, who is 189-51 at Rancho Santiago, said he is leaving to get a rest from coaching but will continue to teach physical education.

"It (his retirement) hasn't come up all season, but they know about it," Reach said. "I don't plan to use it this weekend (to motivate the players) because I don't know if it would help."

Despite different pasts, the teams have one current element in common--a dominant pitcher.

Joyce Lyman is 23-5 for Rancho Santiago; Patti Taylor is 28-6 for Saddleback. They have faced each other four times this season and split the games.

Lyman, a freshman left-hander from Edison High School, threw three perfect games among her six no-hitters this season and set a school record with 121 strikeouts.

Taylor, a right-hander from Fountain Valley, had two no-hitters, seven two-hitters and 13 shutouts.

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