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Springing Into the Playoffs

Softball: Carson and El Camino Real set for City Section final; Southern Section teams gear up for first round of playoffs.


Carson and Woodland Hills El Camino Real will play for the City Section softball title next week, and Quartz Hill is the top-seeded team in Division I for the Southern Section playoffs that begin Friday.

City Section championship games in two divisions will be played Tuesday at UCLA's Easton Stadium.

Southern Section first-round games are Friday. Championship games in six divisions will be played June 4-5 at Mayfair Park in Lakewood.

Here is a division-by-division look at the playoffs:


Top-seeded El Camino Real (23-3) advanced to the championship with a 1-0, 11-inning victory over defending champion San Pedro. The nine-time champion Conquistadores won on a single by Cara Blumfield, the 141st hit of her career.

Second-seeded Carson (24-7) defeated Banning in the semifinals, 7-2. Pitcher Nicole Sander is 13-2 for the Colts, who are led on offense by freshman Adrienne Alo and Regina Ruiz.

Fremont, a 19-3 semifinal winner over Venice, will meet Huntington Park, a 5-4 winner over Lincoln, in the Division championship game.


* DIVISION I: Quartz Hill, winner of Division II last year, has stepped up and is the top-seeded team in a division full of possible champions.

Quartz Hill's Jodie Cox is 22-1 this season and has slugged 25 career homers.

Second-seeded Santa Ana Foothill (27-3) features, among others, shortstop Jamie Clark, who is batting .455 with 34 runs batted in, and pitcher Courtney Fossatti, who is 15-1 with a 0.13 earned-run average. Foothill Coach Joe Gonzalez, who had a kidney removed earlier this month, returns to the dugout Friday.

Third-seeded Rancho Cucamonga (23-2) is led by pitcher Gina Oaks, who helped the Cougars to an unbeaten record in the Mt. Baldy League and combines with Michelle Mumaw and others to give the Rancho Cucamonga an offensive threat as well.

Fourth-seeded Diamond Bar (25-2) features one of the best 1-2 pitching combinations in the Southland with Xochitl Ramirez and Marcel Torres.

No one, however, is counting out defending champion Mater Dei. The Monarchs (24-4) are led by senior Tia Bollinger, who is 12-2 with a 0.30 ERA. Junior outfielder Courtney Betley is batting .446.

* DIVISION II: Anaheim El Dorado (21-3) is the top-seeded team, but this division is wide open.

Second-seeded Cerritos (21-7) is going for its second consecutive trip to the championship game. The Dons, who lost in last year's final to Quartz Hill, are led by junior pitcher Jessica VanderLinden.

Corona (22-5) is the third-seeded team, Irvine Woodbridge (20-9) fourth.

* DIVISION III: Two-time defending champion Garden Grove Pacifica (19-8) is the top-seeded team.

Catcher Toria Auelua is batting .478 and Jessica Soto is 17-6 for the Mariners.

Covina Charter Oak (21-5), La Puente Bishop Amat (20-7) and Newbury Park are the other seeded teams.

* DIVISION IV: West Hills Chaminade (20-6-1) is favored to win the title because the Eagles have one of the best pitchers in the state in Maureen LaCocq. The Stanford-bound senior missed part of the season because of an arm injury, but she is fully recovered and takes an 18-2 record and 0.20 ERA into the playoffs.

Santa Fe Springs St. Paul (25-3), West Covina South Hills (23-3) and Fullerton Rosary (20-8) are other seeded teams.

* DIVISION V: Santa Maria St. Joseph (17-9), Orange Lutheran (23-5), Pomona Catholic (14-9) and Thousand Oaks La Reina (19-7) are the top-seeded teams, but two-time defending champion Santa Ana Calvary Chapel is regarded as a threat to repeat.

After starting 1-4, the Eagles are finishing fast.

* DIVISION VI: Top-seeded Boron (21-0) finished the regular season by winning its 82nd consecutive league game and is the only unbeaten team in the Southern Section. The Bobcats are led by pitcher Jennifer Jenkins.

Temecula Linfield (20-6), Camarillo Cornerstone Christian (18-6) and Victor Valley Christian (19-9) are other seeded teams.

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