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VALLEY / VENTURA COUNTY SPORTS | High School Softball

Lancaster Was Feeling Overdue For Action, But Not Its Coach

March 08, 2000|DAVE DESMOND

Lancaster High didn't play its first softball game until Tuesday and its top returning pitcher hadn't thrown for a week because of an injury.

But not everyone in the program has been running behind schedule.

Coach Kara Johnson delivered her first child in November, two months premature.

"It actually worked out," Johnson said of the early arrival of her daughter, Delaney. "She's doing well . . . and I returned [to school] just in time for tryouts."

Delaney weighed 4.1 pounds at birth, but has grown to 12 pounds and is expected to make her first appearance at an Eagle game as soon as the weather improves, Johnson said.

Now, if only she can improve the condition of pitcher Candy Johnson, no relation to the coach.

Candy Johnson, 4-5 with a 3.24 earned-run average last season, strained a knee muscle snowboarding and did not throw at all last week.

At least one person hasn't lost sleep over the situation.

Delaney slept through the night for the first time on Monday, the eve of Lancaster's opener against Granite Hills.

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You could say it was a good opening week for pitcher Anna Russell of Harvard-Westlake.

The senior right-hander, who has committed to the University of San Diego, was notified early in the week by the school that she has been awarded an $8,000 annual academics-based scholarship.

On Saturday at the Hart tournament, Russell pitched a one-hitter in a 1-0 victory over El Camino Real.

Russell, 5-9 with 96 strikeouts and a 1.94 ERA last season, is expected to share time with sophomore Elena Ferrero. Ferrero pitched a one-hitter against Granada Hills on Saturday.

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It might have been the first weekend of the season, but Coach Cindy Kramer of Notre Dame was in midseason form when it came to scouting.

She had her video camera set up behind the plate Saturday during a Simi Valley tournament game between Mission League rivals Louisville and Alemany.

"Are you kidding?" she said. "I wouldn't pass up the opportunity to scout two league teams against each other."

Kramer witnessed an eight-inning defensive battle, won by Louisville, 2-1.

"They certainly got the scoop on Louisville and Alemany," said Coach Dana Vasquez of Louisville, which defeated the Indians for only the second time in eight seasons.

Shortstop Christina Jordt provided the game-winner, blasting a 3-and-0 pitch over the outfield with two out in the eighth, and the Royals overcame a 1-0 deficit.

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