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1997 SOFTBALL PREVIEW : PACIFIC COAST LEAGUE

March 11, 1997|PAUL McLEOD

Aliso Niguel: 14-12, 9-1 in 1996. Coach: Kari Tubbs (fourth year, 30-34). Prospects: Tubbs, formerly Boothroyd, has the firepower and experience to defend the league title. Among the nine returning starters is the league's co-most valuable player, third baseman Allison Batten (15 runs batted in). Outfielders Jill Freed, Kelly Schafer and Tami Silva, catcher Kirsten Roy, first baseman Jaime Trevor, second baseman Nicole Franko, pitcher Candice Heath, and shortstop Stefanie Ruiz, a Times all-county second-team player two years ago.and pitcher Candice Heath also return. Pitcher DeeDee Schur, a transfer from Santa Margarita, and Jennifer Dorgavel also are expected to contribute.

Costa Mesa: 8-16, 3-7 in 1996. Coach: Pacita Vasquez (first year). Prospects: Vasquez is the fourth coach named in three years for the Mustangs, and she inherits eight returning lettermen. Chief among the returning players are Julie Collett (.410, 21 runs, 19 RBIs) and Kim Daniels (.436, 17 runs). Other returners are Kristin Chisholm, Tiffany Cordova, Sonia Correa, Christy Errico, Kristine Genet, and Amy Ria.

Estancia: 2-15, 0-10 in 1996. Coach: Sharon Uhl (second year, 2-15). Prospects: Five starters, including the battery of pitcher Jill Black and catcher Stephanie Danner, return. Black, who batted .325, posted a 2.50 ERA earned-run average. Also back are left fielder Stacy Barnett, center fielder Jeni Parkin and third baseman Erika Sunga. Sophomore Tiffany Ortega is expected to play second base. Barnett (.275) was the team's second-leading hitter. Top newcomers include shortstop Lacey Ferris, first baseman Carrie Fricker, first baseman Lisa Steinfeld and catcher Debra Wyman.

Laguna Beach: 11-12, 5-5 in 1996. Coach: Jerome Karp (first year). Prospects: Karp takes over for Mike Roche and thinks that the team will be more competitive than it was a year ago. Two starters return: Second baseman Kristin Gundersen and third baseman Katherine McGuire. Whitney Aronoff, Dawn Dacus, Erin Esancy and Marguerite Woodbury are up from the junior varsity. South Pasadena transfer Kate Palfreyman, a shortstop, is also expected to play.

Laguna Hills: 14-12-2, 8-2 in 1996. Coach: Cary Crouch (11th year, 176-73-4). Prospects: Pardon Crouch's optimism: "Aliso Niguel returns all starters, University should be improved, Laguna Hills should win league." Five starters return, including all-league outfielders Stephanie Bisera (.320) and Jenna Ramesh (six triples, three home runs). Bisera was 8-6 as a pitcher and had a 1.30 earned run average. Pitcher Kim Stryker, a sophomore, was 8-5 with a 1.10 ERA. Also back are starting first baseman Elizabeth Brown and starting third baseman Mandi McMahon. Others include catchers/outfielders Donna Maggetti and Meghan O'Donnell, outfielders Chrystie Cappelli and Corine Gastel and infielders Kelly Anderson and Erin Larsen. Newcomers include Lesley Simien and Leea Harlan, a transfer from Santa Margarita.

University: 11-17, 5-5 in 1996. Coach: Keith Atchley (second year, 11-17). Prospects: The Trojans figure to be stronger than they were a year ago when they finished in a tie for third with Laguna Beach. "We have more experience and better bats," Atchley said. Three starters and 10 lettermen return. The starters are: Pitcher Alysia Atchley (1.25 ERA), third baseman Adrienne Rice (.340 batting average) and infielder Kari Rowberg (.325). Junior pitcher Cherstin Worsley, who tossed a no-hitter last year, is back, as is catcher Kristin Scarborough. Outfielder Britney Isaac returns, as does first baseman Jennifer Brigham and utility player Cindy Waldman.

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