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Nevard Pitches Like Veteran in 2-1 Win

Division I: Camarillo freshman allows one hit and strikes out 15 batters to knock out Quartz Hill.


QUARTZ HILL — And a freshman shall lead them.

In the most crucial start of her career, Kathryn Nevard struck out 15, pitched a one-hitter and boosted Camarillo over Quartz Hill, 2-1, in a Southern Section Division I second-round softball game at Quartz Hill on Tuesday.

Nevard (8-3) started instead of standout Cindy Ball and, in the end, out-dueled another standout, Jodie Cox.

"My gut told me yesterday we've got to throw Kathryn," Coach Miki Mangan said.

"Cindy's been doing well, but the team needed to lean on someone else."

Mangan would not say which pitcher the Scorpions will try to lean on during a quarterfinal game against Marmonte League rival Thousand Oaks on Thursday at a site to be determined.

"I love it," Nevard said. "I just wanted to make the JV team. I didn't really think about making the varsity."

Nevard made it and with a big impact, not allowing an earned run in 84 1/3 innings.

She kept Quartz Hill (18-8) hitless until the sixth inning, when Cox doubled in Christa Morales to tie the score, 1-1.

The Scorpions (20-7), ranked No. 3 in The Times' regional poll, answered in the seventh.

Allison Taverner scored the winning run from second base when first baseman April Garza mishandled a throw from third baseman Sara Moore on Brooke Rutschman's one-out bunt.

Coach Coy Ray said that Garza, ironically, has been the team's best defensive player this season.

"I guess the odds caught up with her today," Ray said.

Nevard, who struck out eight of the first nine batters she faced, struck out the first two batters in the seventh and got Moore to pop up.

The Scorpions took a 1-0 lead with a two-out rally in the fifth inning.

Taverner reached on an error by shortstop Amber Slaton and moved to second on a single by pinch-hitter Tommee Payan.

Amy Pollard pinch-ran for Taverner and went to third when Rutschman walked to load the bases.

Jill Borchard's squeeze scored Pollard.

"I'm going to be gray in a few years," said Mangan, 23.

"They like to make it interesting, but they pulled it off."

Cox (14-5) didn't pitch poorly, striking out 14 and allowing five hits.

"In a one-run game, you're going to lose in a heartbeat," Ray said. "We just made a couple mistakes and they made a couple scratch hits."

Camarillo avenged a 6-3 loss to Quartz Hill in the semifinals of the Hart tournament on March 15.

The Scorpions and Thousand Oaks split during the regular season, with Ball, who struck out three times as the designated player against Quartz Hill, starting each game.

Thousand Oaks (25-3) is the top-ranked team in The Times' poll.

"We're pretty competitive, pretty even and we both want to win," Mangan said.

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