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Flawless Fielding Carries the Freight for Thousand Oaks

Marmonte softball: Lancers throw out or pick off seven baserunners in 3-0 victory over Newbury Park.


Newbury Park High tried to beat Thousand Oaks at its own game Tuesday night.

And it might have worked had it not been for an errorless defensive effort by Thousand Oaks.

The Lancers, known more for speed than defense, threw out or picked off seven baserunners to secure a 3-0 victory in a key Marmonte League game at Borchard Park.

"T.O.'s speed always puts pressure on opponents," said Coach Pete Ackermann of Newbury Park. "They have speed year in and year out, and seem to just get faster. I guess by watching them, we thought we were fast too."

Thousand Oaks (18-5, 8-2 in league play) pulled even with Newbury Park (18-6, 8-2) for first place with two games remaining. Westlake (18-4, 7-2) trails by one-half game.

It was ugly for Newbury Park from the start. Oli Keohohou led off the first inning with a triple, but was thrown out at the plate by shortstop Lacey Cope on a ground ball by Nancy Pabon.

"That's my fault for not being more conservative," Ackermann said. "I think that set the tone for the game."

Two innings later, Pabon was thrown out at third after hitting a line drive over the left fielder's head.

"We were stock cars on the Indy track," Ackermann said. "We went away from our game plan. We don't play softball that way."

Meanwhile, Thousand Oaks had its share of missed opportunities.

The Lancers loaded the bases with none out in the second and failed to score. Brandi Cope hit into a double play and Andi Keesling struck out to end the threat.

But Thousand Oaks continued to pester Newbury Park ace Katie Stokx (12-4), who allowed eight singles and struck out four.

The Lancers finally broke through in the sixth, bunching four hits with an error to score all three runs.

"These kids have fought all year long," said Coach Gary Walin, whose team has won 10 consecutive games. "The way they're playing, we know we just have to keep plugging away,"

Thousand Oaks catcher Michelle Spencer picked off runners at first base in the fifth and sixth innings, but the defensive play of the game came in the seventh.

Newbury Park's Tawni Yamauchi and Stokx had back-to-back singles to start the inning. After the Lancers got the first out on a force at third, Lacey Cope made a diving stop of a hard grounder up the middle and tagged second base for the second out, preventing at least one run.

"We have been playing some pretty good defense," Walin said.

Sheridan Fowler (9-3) scattered eight hits and got 19 groundouts.

Vanessa Hanson and Fowler each had two hits for Thousand Oaks.

Stokx went three for three and Pabon had two hits for Newbury Park.

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