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Respect Is Elusive for El Camino Real

April 24, 2001|PAIGE A. LEECH

Redemption was among the top reasons Coach Lori Chandler of El Camino Real High was looking forward to the Thousand Oaks tournament, which begins Saturday.

While the Conquistadores (17-4) continue to dominate City Section opponents, their four losses have come against formidable Southern Section opponents in two local tournaments.

Those losses have Chandler aching for another chance to prove the unranked Conquistadores are worthy of being among the region's top-ranked teams by The Times.

El Camino Real lost to No. 4 Thousand Oaks, 2-1, No. 5 Notre Dame, 1-0, No. 8 Westlake, 3-0, and Highland, 1-0.

"[It's discouraging] because we're never going to get respect until we beat [top Southern Section teams]," Chandler said.

So understand Chandler's disappointment to learn that El Camino Real was placed in the weaker division of the Thousand Oaks tournament.

Instead of getting a possible crack at top-ranked Hart, No. 3 Valencia, Thousand Oaks, No. 7 Newbury Park or Westlake in the Green Division, the Conquistadores will test themselves against the best of the lesser White Division. No other team in the White Division is in first place in its respective league.

But it's a start.

"If we're hitting how we should be, we're a pretty good team," Chandler said.


Catcher Jenni Perez of Thousand Oaks matched a school record with seven runs batted in against Highland in an 8-4 victory Saturday.

Julie Chellevold set the mark in 1987.

Perez, who is headed to UC Santa Barbara, hit a three-run triple and a grand slam in her only at-bats in the second game of a nonleague doubleheader.


Simi Valley joined the short list of region teams to face powerhouse Santa Ana Foothill this season.

After cruising through pool play last week in the Righetti tournament by defeating Santa Maria St. Joseph, 6-0, Sacramento Woodcreek, 8-0, and Lompoc, 7-4, the Pioneers lost to Foothill, 5-1, in the semifinals of the Gold Division.

Simi Valley had three hits against Arizona-bound ace Courtney Fossatti and became the first region team to score a run against Foothill. Jenni Shields singled in a run.

"Our first three games we hit the heck out of the ball," Coach Suzanne Manlet said. "But playing a team like Foothill was really good for us. We got some hits and we scored on her.

"I think it was very good for our team."

Earlier this season, Foothill defeated Chaminade, 8-0, and Hart, 1-0.

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