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VALLEY/VENTURA COUNTY SPORTS

LeCocq Sets Standard for Chaminade, 2-0

Softball: Junior throws no-hitter to defeat Alemany, the eight-time defending Mission League champion.

April 09, 1998|DAVE DESMOND | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

CHATSWORTH — Talk about your high expectations.

A sign in the Chaminade High softball dugout predicted Eagle pitcher Maureen LeCocq would hit 20 home runs and strike out every batter Wednesday against Mission League powerhouse Alemany.

Please pardon the junior right-hander for only throwing a no-hitter against the eight-time defending league champion.

"But I tried my best," LeCocq said almost apologetically after stuffing the Indians, 2-0, in a league opener before a standing-room crowd at Chaminade Middle School.

No one was complaining. At least not on Chaminade's side.

"I haven't seen too many pitching performances better than the one I saw today," Eagle Coach Steve Harrington said.

Chaminade (2-5-1, 1-0 in league play) scored two unearned runs in the first inning, then watched LeCocq strike out eight with an impressive assortment of riseballs, curves, drops, change-ups and screwballs.

The loss was only the second in six seasons of Mission League play for Alemany (10-6, 0-1), and its first since a 3-2 decision in 1996. That also was against LeCocq.

"She seems to get up for us," said Alemany Coach Dudley Rooney, whose team outlasted Chaminade and an injured LeCocq, 3-0, last season in an 18-inning game. "Every time we play her, she seems to throw harder. She just overpowered us today."

LeCocq was clocked at a career-high 63 mph Wednesday in the seventh inning, when she struck out Annette Ramirez and Meghann Reiss, the third and fourth hitters in Alemany's lineup.

"I felt like I was throwing really hard," said LeCocq, who lowered her earned-run average to 0.24.

Alemany's Regina Yuhasz walked on a 3-and-2 count to lead off the first, and Debbie Borra was hit by a LeCocq pitch with one out in the third. They were the only Indians to reach base against LeCocq, who retired the final 14 batters she faced.

Alemany right-hander Kim Diener (10-6), who has committed to Long Beach State, allowed four hits but fell victim to her team's ragged first-inning defense.

With two out, Chaminade's Erin Taylor doubled to left--the Eagles' second extra-base hit of the season--and went to third when Meghan Holbrook's grounder was mishandled.

Holbrook attempted to steal, and when Alemany shortstop Ramirez dropped the throw from catcher Reiss, Taylor scored and Holbrook advanced to third.

Holbrook scored on a wild pitch.

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