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Grazing in the Grass Is No Gas for Hawks


Laguna Hills is still breaking in its new softball facility, but a "Keep off the Grass" sign might have been beneficial during the doubleheader against Mission Viejo on March 27. Eight players felt "not quite right," said Coach Cary Crouch, and three suffered extreme symptoms after exertion. Apparently, the culprit was fertilizer used in the outfield.

"We're still a little confused, but we think the girls stretched in the outfield, got some fertilizer on their hands, and then ate sunflower seeds," Crouch said. "I thought maybe they all went to the same place for lunch. Then it went beyond the number of kids who went to the same place for lunch."

Mission Viejo didn't stretch in the outfield and felt no ill effects.

Stephanie Morgan beat out an infield single, and said she couldn't feel her legs when she got to first base. Pitcher Jackie Eliades was thrown out at first base, but nearly fell over walking out to pitch the next inning and was taken out of the game. Erica Corley ran out a home run, "and all she wanted to do was get to the dugout and lay down," Crouch said.

"If Jackie hadn't started recovering right away when she sat down, we would have been majorly concerned," Crouch said. Eliades' mother had the fertilizer on her daughter's uniform analyzed, Crouch said, "and it had no toxicity, unless you eat it."


Marina, which had been 6-1, lost to El Toro, Kennedy, Foothill and Newhall Hart last week, and in the last two, combined for eight errors.

It could get tougher too. Center fielder Nelsy Zaragoza, who twisted her ankle against Kennedy, is questionable for today's game against Los Alamitos.

"Offensively, we're in a slump, except for Carrie Hagen and Bree Boyer," said Shelly Luth, Marina's coach, "and two out of nine doesn't cut it."

The Vikings play at Los Alamitos on Tuesday and host Esperanza on Thursday.


Jamie Waldecker's two-strike, two-out, two-run home run to tie the score at 2-2 in the bottom of the eighth inning was one of the more dramatic homers in Coach Rob Weil's 12-year tenure at Pacifica. The Mariners won in the 10th inning, 6-5.

"Amanda Freed homered off Marissa Young in 1998 to win the Fountain Valley tournament when Mater Dei was ranked No. 1 and we were No. 2," Weil said. "That one was more dramatic. Jamie's is No. 2."


Mater Dei Coach Ed Ulloa had laser angioplasty surgery on Monday. Ulloa had a triple bypass 15 years ago, and said he has noticed similar symptoms.

"It's been coming on for months," he said. "The doctor says it's time. I have three arteries that are 85% congested."


In addition to the Marina-Los Alamitos matchup, other league openers today include Canyon at Foothill in the Century League and Loara against Kennedy at Arnold Park in the Empire League.

El Toro plays at South Coast rival Trabuco Hills on Wednesday.


Staff writer Paul McLeod contributed to this report.

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Orange County Sportswriters Poll


Pos. School League Rec 1. Foothill (1) Century 12-1 2. Kennedy (3) Empire 8-2 3. Esperanza (6) Sunset 10-2 4. Canyon (2) Century 12-4 5. Pacifica (4) G. Grove 5-2 6. Laguna Hills (NR) Sea View 16-3 7. Loara (7) Empire 12-1 8. Los Alamitos (10) Sunset 5-6 9. Trabuco Hills (NR) South Coast 7-5 10. Cap. Valley (NR) South Coast 9-3-1


Others: Cypress (10-3), El Toro (10-4), Marina (6-5), Mater Dei (10-7), Rosary (8-6), Santa Margarita (11-4).

Last week's ranking in parentheses

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