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VALLEY / VENTURA COUNTY SPORTS

Taking Little for Granted, Hart Wins on Big Inning

Girls' softball: Shut down for five innings by Klein, Indians rally for 4-3 victory over Canyon.

March 31, 2000|DAVE DESMOND | TIMES STAFF WRITER

CANYON COUNTRY — High school softball is a game of bunts, slaps and micro-strategy.

Unless you play at Hart.

The little game took another back seat in a big game Thursday, when the Indians sat back and waited for a big inning, eventually getting it to take a 4-3 victory over Canyon in a Foothill League opener.

Stuffed for five innings by right-hander Shiloh Klein, Hart (8-2) erupted for five hits to turn a 1-0 deficit into a 4-1 sixth-inning lead.

"Little game?" Coach Cathy Giordano asked. "We haven't got one. With this team, it's hard to manufacture runs. But there are times you look in their eyes and know there is no way they are not going to score."

Like the sixth against Canyon (10-6).

"It got a little nerve-racking there for a while," said first baseman Jocelyn Evans, whose double to right-center field scored Carly Caldaronello and Sara Dean for a 2-1 lead.

"But you always have to have confidence."

Evans scored on a double by Casey Pickard, who scored one out later on an infield single by Lorian Jenkins.

The rally ended a 19-inning scoring drought for Hart, which was shut out twice Saturday by Southern Section power Foothill.

"I really wish we could just do that inning over," said left fielder Justina Kahaku of Canyon, who was three for four. "For five innings, we had them."

Up to that point, the game had been dominated by Klein and Brianna Trudeau of Canyon.

Klein (6-2) cruised through five innings, allowing only three hits.

When she did get into trouble, Trudeau bailed her out.

The freshman center fielder gunned down pinch-runner Shawna Mann, who attempted to score from second on a fifth-inning base hit by Erica Duhart.

Duhart and Pickard each had two hits.

Earlier, Trudeau beat out the first of her two bunt singles and scored on a double by Kahaku for a 1-0 lead in the third inning.

It was the first earned run allowed by Hart's Amanda Fortune (5-1) in 36 innings this season.

Fortune, who struck out three, allowed two unearned runs in the sixth and was challenged in the seventh when Ashlee Nava reached third with two out.

Fortune escaped the jam by stabbing Kahaku's shot up the middle and throwing her out.

Canyon, fifth in the six-team league last season, continues to gain respect under second-year Coach Krista Humphreys, a former All-American at Arizona.

The Cowboys, 10-14 last season, have lost one-run games to Crescenta Valley, ranked No. 2 in the region by The Times, and No. 3 Hart, and defeated Highland, 5-3, two weeks ago when the Bulldogs were in the top 10.

"Canyon has been on the bottom for so long," said Humphreys, a member of three national championship teams in college. "The biggest thing I was looking for was that the girls develop respect for themselves."

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