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VALLEY/VENTURA COUNTY SPORTS

La Reina, Hart Break Even

Softball: Hyatt returns to alma mater, splits doubleheader with his former coach Weil.

March 27, 1998|DAVE DESMOND | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

NEWHALL — It has been 27 years since Don Hyatt graduated from Hart High.

"It's kind of strange how things have come full circle," Hyatt said Thursday night at Newhall Park, his alma mater's home softball field.

Hyatt, the coach at La Reina, had just split a nonleague doubleheader with Hart.

The Regents won the opener, 5-2, in eight innings, and Hart claimed the nightcap, 9-3.

Strange is a good way to describe a doubleheader that pitted two of the region's best defensive teams.

Hart (8-2), ranked No. 6 in the region by The Times, and ninth-ranked La Reina (9-2) combined for 19 runs and 38 hits.

The Indians had yielded only six runs in eight games, while the Regents had outscored opponents, 46-8.

"It was just one of those things where the bats had their day," said Hyatt, a 1971 Hart graduate who played football at the school for Hart softball Coach Al Weil.

In the first game, the Indians allowed two unearned runs in the fourth inning to squander a 2-0 lead.

La Reina second baseman Nicole Garofolo's run-scoring single to center field in the eighth inning broke the 2-2 tie, and Aimee Thompson and Stephanie Hall added RBIs in the inning.

Junior right-hander Danielle Field (5-1) struck out four and scattered seven hits.

The Regents finished the first game with 11 hits against sophomore right-hander Amanda Fortune (5-1), Hart's All-Foothill League pitcher.

"I'm surprised we did what we did against Amanda," said Hyatt, whose team defeated Fortune, 5-0, in a nonleague game last season. "Amanda is a great pitcher.

The Regents, whose only previous loss was a 2-1 defeat against top-ranked Simi Valley, jumped to a 3-0 lead in the second game before Hart rallied for nine runs.

Weil had no comment about Hyatt, his former wide receiver, or the doubleheader and directed all questions to his players.

"I knew we'd come around in the second game," Indian third baseman Kellie Nordhagen said.

Nordhagen's leadoff double in the second inning ignited a three-run rally to tie it. Her run-scoring single in the third gave the Indians a 4-3 lead and highlighted a four-run rally.

Hart added two runs in the fourth.

Anna Nordhagen, Casey Pickard and Stacy Holbrook also had two hits in the second game for Hart, which had 12 against La Reina's Kristen Ward (4-1).

Ward had not allowed an earned run until Thursday.

"After the win, I think we let up on them and didn't play up to our capabilities," said La Reina's Garofolo, who had three hits and two RBIs in the doubleheader.

Ward and Monica Thompson also had three hits for the Division IV Regents, who have defeated Royal twice, Westlake and Hart, and are favored to claim their seventh consecutive Tri-Valley League title.

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