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VALLEY / VENTURA COUNTY SPORTS

Chaminade's Play Bears Repeating

Softball: Lupacchini, Whale again lead way as Eagles advance to semifinals with 1-0 victory over Rosary.

May 26, 2000|DAVE DESMOND | TIMES STAFF WRITER

CHATSWORTH — Christina Lupacchini pitched another shutout, Courtney Whale had another game-winning hit in the playoffs and Chaminade High is again headed for the Southern Section Division IV semifinals.

Anyone notice a trend here?

The Eagles followed a familiar script against a familiar foe on Thursday in a 1-0 quarterfinal victory over top-seeded Rosary at Chaminade Middle School.

Chaminade, whose postseason march has been defined by repetition, is two victories away from repeating as champion.

The Eagles (15-12) face Bishop Amat, a 2-0 winner over Dos Pueblos, on Tuesday.

"I really believe that we can do this," said Lupacchini (15-8), a sophomore who hurled her sixth consecutive shutout and extended her scoreless inning streak to 53 innings. "Our hearts have taken us so far already."

So has Whale's bat.

The senior shortstop has three hits in the playoffs: two-run singles in 2-0 victories over Notre Dame Academy and San Dimas in the first and second rounds, and a run-scoring double to center field with two out in the sixth inning against Rosary.

"I guess I can't hit in any other situation," said Whale, who drove a pitch from Mallory Anderson (18-6) over center fielder Christa Arriaga's head to drive in Shannon Barceloux from second.

"I told myself that I had done it before, that I would do it again. I had no doubts. I love the pressure."

It marked the third consecutive season these teams have met deep in the playoffs.

"The first time was the start of a good rivalry," said Coach Tom Tice of Rosary, whose team defeated the Eagles, 1-0, in the 1998 semifinals. Chaminade defeated Rosary, 1-0, in the semifinals last season.

"This is just a painful continuation of that rivalry."

The Royals (23-9) were retired in order only in the first and seventh innings, and stranded six runners, four in scoring position.

Lupacchini finished with five strikeouts and a three-hitter to record the Eagles' eighth consecutive playoff shutout.

Anderson struck out three and allowed four hits, two singles by Meghan Holbrook and consecutive doubles by Barceloux and Whale.

The Eagles struggled to get to this point, finishing second in the Mission League after having to replace four graduated seniors.

"But here's Chaminade, in the semis with 12 losses," Coach Steve Harrington said. "These girls believe they are champions."

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