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Panthers Stumble on Way to Dance


Oli Keohohou's absence from the lineup wasn't the only disruption for Newbury Park High on Saturday in the Thousand Oaks tournament.

It was prom night.

"[Our] center fielder wouldn't throw the ball because it would screw up her nails," Coach Pete Ackermann joked. "That's how the winning run scored against Hart."

The Panthers edged Saugus, 1-0, in a first-round game before losing to Hart, 2-1, in a quarterfinal.

With most players looking forward to the evening's festivities, no one was interested in sitting around to discuss the loss.

"The fastest we ran all day was when I said, 'We're out of here,' " Ackermann said.

The Panthers, ranked No. 8 in the region by The Times, had only seven hits in two games without slugger Keohohou, who was taking the SAT.


El Camino Real's Cara Blumfield acknowledges the No. 9-ranked Conquistadores (17-3) have feasted on weak pitching in the City Section.

El Camino Real, which routinely wins its games by the 10-run rule after five innings, got a taste of how the other half lives playing against Southern Section teams in the Thousand Oaks tournament.

"I'm trying to get the team pumped," said Blumfield, after the Conquistadores lost to Camarillo, 2-0, in the first round.

"They want it, but I don't think they've [hit against] this kind of pitching."

Blumfield, a slick-fielding shortstop who plays on a competitive club team, had no trouble against Camarillo's Kathryn Nevard, among the region's dominant pitchers.

Blumfield went two for two with a sacrifice against Nevard, who allows only 2.2 hits per seven innings.


No one owns the competitive Marmonte League this season like pitcher Maureen LeCocq and her Chaminade teammates.

Newbury Park, Westlake and Simi Valley each have lost to LeCocq and the Eagles at least once.

LeCocq (12-2) will try to add a fourth Marmonte victim to her hit list Saturday when the Eagles face Thousand Oaks in a semifinal of the Thousand Oaks tournament at 11 a.m.

A victory could give Chaminade another shot at nationally ranked Mater Dei in the final. Chaminade (13-6-1) was swept by Mater Dei earlier this season when LeCocq was injured and unable to pitch.

Mater Dei (20-2) faces Hart in the other semifinal Saturday at 1 p.m.


Tension was high for the opposing coaches at the start of the Chaminade-Westlake rematch in the Thousand Oaks tournament.

The game started with Westlake's Erin Voeltz throwing a strike to Lindsey Weinstein.

Chaminade Coach Steve Harrington immediately contested the strike, arguing that a timeout had been called at the request of Westlake Coach Barbara Jordan.

After the plate umpire conferred with the base official, the umpire called no pitch.

Out of the dugout came Jordan, who spoke to each official separately.

The umpires conferred a second time and reversed their decision, calling the pitch a strike.

Back to the plate came Harrington, looking for an explanation.

The entire incident lasted about five minutes and the game resumed with one strike.

The punch line?

Chaminade won, 1-0, when the game was called after six innings because of a one-hour, 40-minute time limit. A seventh inning would have been possible if not for the first-inning delay.

It was the second time in as many games Chaminade defeated Westlake, 1-0, in six innings. The first meeting, in the Righetti tournament, was called because of rain.


It took a few weeks, but Moorpark notched its first Marmonte League victory last week.

Moorpark (11-11), which played in the Frontier League before this season, lost seven consecutive Marmonte games before defeating Agoura, 7-3, and Simi Valley, 3-1.

The Musketeers are the only team in the league to use a three-pitcher rotation. Tara Barker (6-4), Jennifer Dye (3-3) and Candie Jaegge (2-4) have a combined earned-run average of 1.17.


Small wonder La Reina (15-7) has won nine of its last 12 games.

Stephanie Hall has been on a tear.

Last week, Hall was nine for 11 with 12 runs batted in, five doubles and a triple. Her 12 doubles shattered the previous single-season school record of nine.

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