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Russell Covers All the Bases

High school softball: Pitcher delivers game-winning hit in 12th inning for Harvard-Westlake in 2-1 victory over Chaminade for first.


VALLEY GLEN — Anna Russell is having a memorable season in the pitcher's circle and a forgettable one in the batter's box.

Harvard-Westlake High's senior right-hander excelled in both areas on Monday at Valley College, leading the Wolverines to a 2-1 victory over Chaminade in a 12-inning game for first place in the Mission League.

Russell (13-2) outdueled Christina Lupacchini (8-8) and delivered the game-winning hit with two out.

The hit, which just eluded the reach of right fielder Kelly Musgrove, drove in Lisa Feigenbaum from third to end Chaminade's league winning streak at 24 games and a 12-at-bat hitless streak for Russell.

"I just tell myself that I'm never in a slump," said Russell, who was batting just over .100 before the at-bat. "I came through when it counted, and that's all that matters."

The Wolverines (15-4, 5-0 in league play) are on pace to claim their first league championship in the program's 25-year history.

"We've been waiting a long time for this," said Feigenbaum, a four-year starter who had never defeated Chaminade (9-10, 4-1).

Coach Terry Elledge isn't ready to order trophies.

"We don't have it yet," he said. "We're only halfway through league."

The second half begins Wednesday, when Harvard-Westlake plays Chaminade, the two-time defending league champion, at Chaminade Middle School in Chatsworth.

The Eagles have struggled against the region's toughest nonleague schedule, but showed they won't relinquish their title without a fight.

But they stranded five runners in scoring position and had another--catcher Tory Yamaguchi--thrown out by Kim Koral as she tried to score from second on a 12th-inning single by Musgrove.

Yamaguchi and Lindsey Weinstein each had two hits for Chaminade. Elena Ferrero and Feigenbaum each had two hits for the Wolverines. Ferraro had a run-scoring double in the first.

Russell struck out 11 and didn't walk a batter in a six-hitter.

Lupacchini retired 17 in a row at one point, and battled the final seven innings despite a popped blister and jammed finger on her right, throwing, hand.

"That was all heart, right there," Coach Steve Harrington said.

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