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COMMUNITY COLLEGES / STEVE KRESAL : Mazurie's Move Pays Dividends

April 10, 1995|STEVE KRESAL

Christina Mazurie got a different perspective on softball once she started playing for Rancho Santiago College.

It wasn't so much that the game had changed; just her view of it.

Mazurie played third and first base and hit third or fourth while at Foothill High.

But when she came to Rancho Santiago, Coach Kim Nutter moved her to shortstop, a position she had rarely played even in age-group leagues, and moved her up to the leadoff spot.

She adjusted quickly and has had great success.

Mazurie is the all-time hit leader at Rancho Santiago and has become a skilled shortstop as well.

But what made Nutter move her?

"We really didn't have an experienced shortstop last season, but we figured Maz could do it," Nutter said. "She's played infield all her life."

Mazurie said she has had to work hardest on making quick throws, and she has improved greatly this season. However, she hopes to switch back to either corner when she moves on to a four-year college.

She is being recruited by Oklahoma, where she visited last week, UC Santa Barbara, Cal State Northridge and Southwest Texas State.

Mazurie has been impressive from the start as a hitter for the Dons.

She batted .375 with two home runs and drove in 18 runs last season. And this season, after working out with free weights, she has increased her strength. She is batting .389 with five doubles, three triples and a home run.

"I was just looking at the score sheets and it seems like she got a hit in every game," Nutter said. "I guess I just take it for granted sometimes that she does so well."

Mazurie hit for the cycle in a victory over Saddleback in mid-March. She had a home run to start the game, then was credited with a triple after being thrown out at the plate trying for a second home run. She doubled and singled in her final two at-bats.

The single was her seventh consecutive hit over three games. The streak ended with a hard groundout against Irvine Valley.

Mazurie is also an accomplished base stealer. She has a Rancho Santiago career record 32 stolen bases, including 18 in 20 tries this season.

"My speed gets underestimated because of my height (5 feet 10)," she said. "My feet don't move as fast as some people, but I still get there because of my long strides."

Mazurie realizes her softball career will probably end after college but she has plans to switch to baseball in an all-female league.

Instead of playing softball last summer, Mazurie played baseball for the first time since she was about 10 and was a standout shortstop for The Edge, a team based at Pacifica High last summer. The Edge reached the championship tournament in Arizona and Mazurie's skills were noticed.

She was invited to tryout for the Silver Bullets this spring but declined because the tryout dates conflict with her college schedule.

"I love baseball," she said. "I'm sure when I'm done playing softball, I will play. That would be so great to play baseball in different states and get paid."

*

Softball: The top three teams from the Orange Empire Conference--Cypress, Rancho Santiago and Fullerton--are in the College of the Desert Easter tournament Tuesday and Wednesday.

Orange Coast is also in the 15-team field. In 10 a.m. Tuesday games: Cypress plays Rancho Santiago and Cypress meets Ventura. At noon: Fullerton takes on San Diego Mesa and Orange Coast and Hancock play.

The tournament continues Tuesday and the title game is Wednesday at 7 p.m.

*

Track and field: Erin Remy set an OCC record in the 10,000 meters Saturday at the UC San Diego track and field invitational.

Remy, one of the top cross-country runners in Orange County last fall, had a time of 38 minutes 56.9 seconds. She finished second in the race but was the first collegiate runner over the line. Misty Allen won the race in 37:47.2.

The decathlon looks to be a strong event for Orange County athletes who took the top three spots at the Southern California qualifying for the State meet last Tuesday and Wednesday.

Rick Zumwalt of Golden West took first in the 110 hurdles and the discus and won with 6,404 points. Zumwalt, 28, is a former football standout at Golden West and Arizona State.

Ty Wynn (6,382) of Rancho Santiago was second and Nikia McKinney (6,036) of Fullerton was third. The State meet is May 19-20 at Bakersfield.

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