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The Girls Clung to Their Diamond Without Any Reservation

SIDELINES

May 12, 1995

Most Little League-age boys don't much care for girls, and what happened Wednesday afternoon at Van Nuys-Sherman Oaks Park surely didn't change any opinions.

A girls' softball game between Chaminade High and Notre Dame--scheduled a half-hour early, at 2:45, to accommodate a Little League team that had reserved the field for 4:45--went 13 innings.

It wasn't until about 6 p.m. that Chaminade finally pushed over a run in a 2-1 victory.

That Chaminade squandered several scoring opportunities only added to the frustration of the baseball players.

Chaminade left the bases loaded in the seventh and eighth innings and stranded runners at second and third in the ninth.

*

For the birds: Poly High's first-place baseball team probably has more pitching depth than any other team in the Valley Pac-8 Conference. But where would the Parrots (18-5, 14-1 in the conference) be without Hugo De La Torre?

"We'd have a few more losses and probably be below Sylmar (17-5, 11-3) in the standings," Poly Coach Chuck Schwal said. "He's been a man."

The senior right-hander is 9-2, 7-0 in Pac-8 play, and has two saves. Schwal said De La Torre, who has an 0.88 earned-run average, has never declined a chance to pitch.

In his past three appearances, De La Torre has two victories--one in relief--and a save.

"We got some pitching behind him," Schwal said. "But he's saved their butt in relief."

*

Parrot power: As if the Poly baseball team needed another hitter, Abel Salazar has arrived.

The 6-foot-2, 190-pound junior first baseman, after working his way into the lineup three weeks ago, is batting .423 with three triples and a home run in only 26 at-bats. He has a .500 average with runners in scoring position, and he stunned Schwal in a recent practice with a long home run to center field.

"It was a blast," Schwal said. "It had to be 450 (feet)."

*

Pedestrian effort: Cal State Northridge doesn't have much team speed. The Matadors have swiped only 30 bases in their first 54 games.

Their coach doesn't have any wheels, either.

Bill Kernen is driving a borrowed car. Seems that when his Mercedes-Benz broke down recently, he took it to the shop and was told that repairing the problem would cost a small fortune. "I told the guy, 'Forget it,' " Kernen said.

Kernen then sold the car back to the guy from whom he bought it--at the original price minus the estimated $2,000 for repairs.

*

Keeping score: Ground has been broken on the new baseball scoreboard at Northridge's Matador Field.

Construction workers are completing the metal supports for the scoreboard, which replaces an obsolete model erected in the early 1970s.

The new model will include scoring by innings and a message board. Should look pretty sweet . . . in 1996.

What's more, the team's media guide was issued only this week.

Better late than never?

Not according to Kernen.

"I'm gonna lose a couple of bets," Northridge's coach said. "I bet we wouldn't have either by the end of the year."

*

Wind aided: The winds that hampered many of the performances in last week's Marmonte League track and field finals at Camarillo High apparently were beneficial to discus throwers. The top six finishers all registered personal bests.

But the wind alone could not explain the remarkable improvement displayed by Newbury Park's Brant Diediker, who raised his personal best from 111-10 to 137-10 in the qualifying round and three days later threw 156-11 to win the league title.

Quotebook

"I told the girls: 'No stealing, no sliding, nothing. And when we get to 20, we're going to stop."

--Hoover High softball Coach Kirt Kohlmeier, whose team defeated 0-15 Muir, 19-0, Tuesday in a Pacific League game shortened to five innings.

"I can't think of a guy with a worse reputation in the sport than John Bray . . . and who's had such little impact. He's basically a nobody."

--Boxing promoter Peter Broudy, who was jilted when the former U.S. amateur heavyweight champion backed out of a deal to fight in the main event on Wednesday's card at the Warner Center Marriott hotel.

Stats

Six athletes won two or more events at last week's Marmonte League track and field finals, but no one accounted for more points than Bruce Rivera of Royal High, who scored 34 although he only won once.

Rivera won the long jump with an effort of 21 feet 3 3/4 inches and finished second in the 110-meter high hurdles in a wind-aided 15.49 seconds, the 300 intermediates in 41.8 seconds, and the triple jump in 43-6 1/2.

The Simi Valley High softball team this season will miss the playoffs for only the second time in the past 16 years.

Things to Do

A contingent of talented sprinters, led by Charles Lee of Cleveland High and Moses Backus of Taft, will compete in the Northwest Valley Conference finals at Birmingham High today. The meet starts at 2 p.m.

* Compiled by Mike Hiserman. Contributing: Steve Elling, Jeff Fletcher, Dana Haddad, Vince Kowalick, John Ortega.

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