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VALLEY / VENTURA COUNTY SPORTS

Hit and Miss as Carson Wins

City softball: Alo's home run in fourth and blown chances sink El Camino Real in semifinals, 1-0.

May 17, 2000|PAIGE A. LEECH | TIMES STAFF WRITER

SOUTH GATE — It was only a matter of time for the El Camino Real softball team.

Or so the Conquistadores thought.

El Camino Real High stranded six runners in scoring position and Carson came away with a 1-0 victory Tuesday on the strength of one powerful swing in a City Section Championship semifinal at South Gate Park.

The Colts will play San Pedro for the Championship title Tuesday at UCLA.

It is the first time since 1995 the Conquistadores didn't advance to the final.

Carson (25-7), which lost to El Camino Real, 3-0, in the championship game last year, managed only three hits off ace Melissa Coogan (20-4).

But the Colts needed only one, a fourth-inning home run by sophomore Adrienne Alo.

"The difference is we wanted it more this year," said Alo, a cousin of slugger Oli Keohohou of Newbury Park.

Alo, who had two of Carson's three hits, led off the fourth with the game winner.

Kelsey Walker made a diving stab at Alo's drive, but came up empty.

El Camino Real (22-5-1) was baffled by the off-speed pitches of Carson's Jessica Ruiz, especially the bottom of the lineup.

Still, the Conquistadores had plenty of scoring opportunities.

Ruiz (14-2) allowed six hits and walked five.

But the right-hander also struck out 10.

"I think that's the most she's had all year," Coach Rosie Martinez of Carson said.

El Camino Real threatened in the three middle innings, but left the bases loaded in the third and fifth.

"We had runners all over the place," Coach Neils Ludlow said. "If we could have just gotten a hit when we needed it, we would have won that game easy."

Carson certainly did its homework.

Conquistador slugger Christina Enea was walked in her first three plate appearances. Ruiz pitched around her in the third with runners at second and third, and again in the fifth with a runner at second.

"That was our game plan going in," Martinez said. "We didn't want her to beat us."

Said Enea: "It was extremely frustrating. I knew I was going to get a hit. I was going to make it happen."

In the third, after Ruiz walked Enea to load the bases with two out, Walker grounded out.

In the fourth with runners at first and third and one out, Ruiz struck out Fiona Landers and Jessica Vaught to escape the jam.

In the fifth with bases loaded and two out, Coogan popped up to the second baseman.

"We sure had our opportunities," Ludlow said. "We just didn't make it happen."

Coogan, who struck out five, scattered hits in the first, fourth and fifth.

*

COACH RESIGNS

Coach Neils Ludlow retired after loss to Carson. Page 11

(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX / INFOGRAPHIC)

CITY AND SOUTHERN SECTION SOFTBALL PLAYOFFS

CHAMPIONSHIP SEMIFINALS

Tuesday

Carson 1, El Camino Real 0

San Pedro 9, Kennedy 8

INVITATIONAL SEMIFINALS

Monroe 1, Lincoln 0

Washington 5, Van Nuys 3

*

Southern Section Playoffs

WILD-CARD ROUND

Today

Division II

Rio Mesa at Beverly Hills

San Marcos at Valencia

Lancaster at Canyon

Division IV

Nordhoff at Alemany

Division V

Crossroads at Flintridge Prep

*

FIRST ROUND

Friday

Division I

Hawthorne/Alhambra at Camarillo

Arcadia at Highland

Glendale at Arroyo Grande

Division II

Quartz Hill at Hart

Buena at Thousand Oaks

Rio Mesa/Beverly Hills at Mira Costa

Hueneme at Righetti

San Marcos/Valencia at Simi Valley

Canyon/Lancaster at Crescenta Valley

Division III

Westlake at Atascadero

Newbury Park at Charter Oak

Division IV

Chaminade at Notre Dame Academy

Alemany/Nordhoff at Lompoc Cabrillo

Bonita at La Canada

Oak Park at Ridgecrest Burroughs

El Segundo/B. Montgomery at Calabasas

Ocean View/Costa Mesa at Harvard-Westlake

Division V

Lancaster Desert at La Reina

Paraclete at Ontario Christian

Kern Valley at Village Christian

St. Bonaventure at Providence

Flintridge/Crossroads at SM St. Joseph

Division VI

LA Lutheran at Capo. Valley Christian

Cuyama Valley at Faith Baptist

GH Hillcrest Chr. at SM Valley Christian

Viewpoint at Cornerstone Christian

Cate at Montclair Prep

Maricopa at Santa Clarita Christian

Grace Brethren at Pioneer Baptist

All game times 3:15 p.m.

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