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ATHLETE OF THE WEEK / GIRLS

Melanie Richardson

March 30, 1994

SCHOOL: Camarillo

SPORT: Softball

YEAR: Sophomore

SEASON AT A GLANCE: Richardson, a 5-foot-5 right-hander, is 8-1 and has 56 strikeouts in 57 innings. In her only defeat, she pitched a one-hitter. She has given up seven walks and four earned runs, and sports a 0.49 earned-run average.

WEEK AT A GLANCE: Richardson might never escape the shadow of her older sister Laura, who pitched Camarillo to a Southern Section title in 1991 and earned a scholarship last season to play for Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. But the younger Richardson last week matched her sister's greatest feat of 1993: a victory against Simi Valley. Last season, Camarillo--behind Laura's two-hit, 11-strikeout performance--was the only team to beat Simi Valley, which finished 26-1-1 and won the Southern Section Division I title. A year later, Camarillo has given Simi Valley (8-1), the state's top-ranked team according to Cal-Hi Sports, its first loss. Richardson pitched a one-hitter with eight strikeouts and beat Sara Griffin (two-hitter, nine strikeouts), the 1993 state player of the year. "It was the best game intensity-wise that she has pitched for me," Camarillo Coach Darwin Tolzin said. "It kind of reminded me of her sister. Her concentration level was very high."

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