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County : HIGH SCHOOLS

Vote of Confidence for Slumping Howard

April 21, 1998

Many baseball players would be happy batting .277. But when the player is Westlake High junior Kevin Howard, those rejoicing are the Warriors' opponents.

Howard, a third baseman, batted .512 last season and was arguably Ventura County's top player. But he has struggled this season and neither he nor Coach Chuck Berrington have any answers.

Berrington has been patient, keeping Howard near the top of the batting order, but said he may drop him below hot-hitting teammates this week.

"He just looks lost, like the eighth hitter in the lineup," Berrington said. "He hasn't hit a ball in a game that's made people take notice, but we're going to live and die with him and I've told him that."

*

Handy man: Three weeks ago, Nordhoff senior Noah Lowry broke his hand running the bases in the first inning of a Frontier League game against Malibu. The left-handed pitcher hid the injury from his coach and earned the victory, striking out 10.

After three weeks with his hand in a cast, Lowry makes his return today, again against Malibu.

SOFTBALL

Cinderella story: Notre Dame beefed up its record while playing Mickey Mouse competition last week.

The Knights (7-6-1) won three games during an eight-day trip to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla.

The victories came against New York Kingston, 2-1, and New York Athena, 3-1 and 8-3.

Players each raised about $1,000 for the trip, which included visits to the Magic Kingdom and Epcot Center.

"We're coming back with more confidence and darker tans," Coach Cindy Kramer said.

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