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VALLEY/VENTURA COUNTY SPORTS | DIGEST

Waves Building Some Momentum

March 22, 1998

Pepperdine has bounced back from a horrible start to win 10 of 12, including its first six West Coast Conference baseball games.

The Waves' batting average has risen from .236 to .290 in the streak, which began with a three-game sweep of Cal State Northridge.

"The sweep of Northridge was a real confidence-builder," Coach Frank Sanchez said. "We are finding ways to put the close games into the win column."

A major factor has been Dave Sugden, a backup catcher who has become the designated hitter and leads the team with a .386 average.

To make room for Sugden, designated hitter Steve Zorn moved to first base and first baseman Jared Pitney moved to right field. Zorn is batting .386 with seven homers and third baseman G.J. Raymundo is batting .327 with seven homers.

All-conference second baseman Tyler Ferrer will return soon after rehabilitating from ankle surgery.

"The team is moving in a positive direction," Sanchez said.

"The encouraging sign is that we are playing better baseball, and our level of confidence is improving each time we play."

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The Hart softball roster is notable this season for the absence of Christina Chao, a senior who has committed to Stanford.

Chao batted .352 as a sophomore and .325 last season.

Coach Al Weil told Chao she would start at shortstop this season but she chose not to play.

"We had her for 3 1/2 years and I don't know why she decided not to play," Weil said.

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Pierce College outside hitter Stephen Wiessner has committed to Cal State Northridge.

The 6-foot-5 Wiessner was an All-City Section selection last year at Chatsworth High.

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