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Shelburne, Garcia Find Catching On Is Hard to Do


Catch as catch can?

Ramona Shelburne and Carin Garcia had trouble doing it, so the batters weren't the only ones who were striking out on dropped third strikes in the City Section 4-A Division softball title game Tuesday at UCLA.

The catchers from both teams--Shelburne for El Camino Real and Garcia of Kennedy--were frustrated by the number of dropped third strikes that eluded them, the passed balls that plagued them, and the wild pitches that went awry.

For a while, Shelburne was afraid her problems might derail El Camino Real's bid for a second consecutive championship. But she and the rest of the Conquistadores finally caught on and posted a 2-1 victory over the Golden Cougars in nine innings.

El Camino Real's Ashley Redlin reached base safely leading off the second inning when Garcia let a dropped third strike get away. Redlin then scored the Conquistadores' first run on a base hit by Jessica Riddle--after a passed ball allowed Redlin to move to third base.

Kennedy threatened in the fourth inning when Garcia singled to right and then went all the way to third when Shelburne lost the handle on another third strike that ricocheted off the backstop and halfway down the first-base line.

Garcia was left stranded at third and El Camino Real escaped that threat, but Kennedy tied the game, 1-1, in the fifth in part because of a wild pitch that Shelburne was unable to field.

And, finally, contributing to the Conquistadores' winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning was a passed ball on which Vanessa Laguire moved to second base.

"I played my worst game of the year," Shelburne said. "I think there was kind of curse around home plate. Both catchers were just freaking out. I think there was a little bit of nerves out there."

Garcia agreed, saying, "I had to relax out there. Catching for [Kennedy pitcher] Sandra, at UCLA like this, I was anxious to do everything right."

Instead, things went wrong.

For Garcia, the title game marked the roughest outing of her first and only season as catcher for Durazo, a senior headed to San Diego State on scholarship.


Shelburne, a senior who will attend Stanford on a softball scholarship, has a 3-0 record at UCLA.

Shelburne was the only returning starter from a team that won the title last year. She was a freshman on the Conquistadores' 1994 title team.


El Camino Real won City 4-A titles in baseball and softball in 1994.

After its softball victory, the Conquistadores are halfway to a repeat performance. The El Camino Real baseball team plays Banning tonight for the title.

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