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One Run Is Enough for Notre Dame

April 01, 2001|PAIGE A. LEECH

With so few surprises coming out of the 16-team San Fernando Valley tournament Saturday at Hjelte Park in Encino, attention focused on one eye-opener.

Notre Dame 1, El Camino Real 0.

The Knights (8-3), with five starters returning from a 9-15 team, proved themselves Mission League contenders after knocking off an experienced City Section team ranked No. 8 in the region by The Times.

"We're not getting a lot of hits . . . but they find a way to win," Coach Cindy Kramer of Notre Dame said. "This group doesn't fold under pressure. They don't quit."

Melissa Coogan (11-4) of El Camino Real, who struck out seven and walked two, allowed only three singles.

Katy Wilkins hit a run-scoring single with two out in the sixth.

The Conquistadores (11-4), who lost to Westlake, 3-0, hours earlier, threatened in the second inning when Coogan hit a one-out triple to center field.

But Amanda De La Cerda (7-1), who scattered three hits, retired the next two batters on ground outs.

"A few of our kids live in the West Valley and grew up playing with [El Camino Real] players in youth leagues and on travel teams," Kramer said. "So this at least gives them some bragging rights for the season."

The Knights, who beat San Fernando, 7-0, earlier, will play Crescenta Valley in a Gold Division semifinal Saturday.

Meredith Cervenka pitched the top-ranked Falcons into the semifinal with victories over Chatsworth, 6-0, and Sylmar, 4-0.

Cervenka (8-1) pitched a no-hitter and struck out 13 against Chatsworth. Her bid for a perfect game was foiled when she walked the leadoff batter in the fourth.

She threw a one-hitter with 10 strikeouts against Sylmar.

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