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VALLEY / VENTURA COUNTY SPORTS

Canyon Gives 'Em the Slip, 1-0

May 18, 2000|DAVE DESMOND | TIMES STAFF WRITER

CANYON COUNTRY — No, it only seems the Canyon High softball lineup features Harry Houdini, David Copperfield and the Amazing Kreskin.

The Cowboys' magical season continued on Wednesday thanks to another great escape.

They didn't hit a ball out of the infield but defeated Lancaster, 1-0, in a Southern Section Division II wild card game at North Oaks Park.

A week ago, Canyon (16-10) was given up for dead after falling to 4-5 in Foothill League play.

In a league finale, Canyon had to come from two runs behind to defeat last-place Burroughs, 3-2, in eight innings and tie Burbank for third place.

The Cowboys received a playoff invitation by winning a coin toss on Friday. The coin bounced off a Burbank player's book bag and in Canyon's favor.

"That's Canyon softball and I'm proud of it," said Coach Krista Humphreys, whose team has used solid pitching and defense, timely hitting and a little luck to advance to the playoffs for the first time since 1995.

For their next trick, the Cowboys will try to baffle second-seeded Crescenta Valley (26-1) on Friday in a first-round game at Montrose Park.

The Falcons, ranked No. 1 in the region by The Times, defeated Canyon, 1-0, in a 14-inning nonleague game on March 14.

Jen Henderson (8-7), who matched All-Valley right-hander Meredith Cervenka in that game, was almost as dominant against Lancaster (15-12).

She pitched a three-hitter, struck out four and retired 12 of the last 13 batters.

Much like the tie-breaking coin toss, Canyon received a fortuitous bounce against the Eagles.

With one out in the fourth inning, Erika Owen and Aimee Nava advanced to second and third on consecutive errors by Lancaster.

Owen scored the winning run when Kelli Luce beat out a chopper to shortstop with two out.

"That's what happens when you make errors," Coach Kara Johnson of Lancaster said. "They come back and bite you."

Right-hander Candy Johnson (6-6) struck out five, pitched a two-hitter and had one of the Eagles' three hits.

It appeared Lancaster would take the lead in third inning when it moved runners to second and third with two out, but sophomore third baseman Owen turned in the defensive play of the game.

She knocked down Erin Yasumoto's one-hop blast and fired a bullet from her knees to get the final out at first base.

"That's just what needed to be done," said Owen, who also had an infield single. "If I get up, the runner would have beaten the throw."

(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX / INFOGRAPHIC)

HIGH SCHOOL SOFTBALL PLAYOFFS

Southern Section

WILD-CARD SCORES

Wednesday

Division II

Rio Mesa 11, Beverly Hills 0

Valencia 9, San Marcos 0

Canyon 1, Lancaster 0

Division IV

Alemany 1, Nordhoff 0

Division V

Crossroads 2, Flintridge Prep 0

*

FIRST ROUND

Friday

Division I

Alhambra at Camarillo

Arcadia at Highland

Glendale at Arroyo Grande

Division II

Quartz Hill at Hart

Buena at Thousand Oaks

Rio Mesa at Mira Costa

Hueneme at Righetti

Valencia at Simi Valley

Canyon at Crescenta Valley

Division III

Westlake at Atascadero

Newbury Park at Charter Oak

Division IV

Chaminade at Notre Dame Academy

Alemany at Lompoc Cabrillo

Bonita at La Canada

Oak Park at Ridgecrest Burroughs

El Segundo at Calabasas

Ocean View at Harvard-Westlake

Division V

Lancaster Desert at La Reina

Paraclete at Ontario Christian

Kern Valley at Village Christian

St. Bonaventure at Providence

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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