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2001 SOFTBALL PREVIEW

Sea View League

February 27, 2001

Aliso Niguel

Coach: Joe Miller

2000 record: 21-8-1

League record: 7-1

Aliso Niguel and Laguna Hills joined the Sea View League last season, and the Wolverines ended Woodbridge's string of 16 consecutive league titles. The core of returning players for Joe Miller (fourth year, 50-29-1) is composed of five seniors: third baseman Jessica Vernaglia (.448, 24 RBIs), shortstop Erin Wallace (.404, 23 runs, 11 RBIs, 22 stolen bases), center fielder Shannon Anderson (.356), left fielder Kalena Peterson (.323, 20 RBIs) and catcher Jennifer Kreinbrink (.204). A junior, second baseman Chezare Sievers (.416, 17 runs, 16 RBIs), was a first-team all-county selection last season, and right fielder Lindsay Schafer (.361, 21 RBIs) also returns. Sophomore Amanda Samonte was 13-5 with a 0.84 earned-run average as a freshman. The Wolverines' only question appears to be at first base, where they must find a replacement for Lisa Krueger (Villanova).

Irvine

Coach: Lisa Baker

2000 record: 16-11

League record: 4-4

Lisa Baker (12th year, 216-85-1) has one of the county's top hitters in shortstop Kendra Singley, (.422, 24 runs, six home runs, 13 RBIs) but the young Vaqueros are locked into rebuilding mode. Irvine probably lacks the depth to challenge for first or second place, and a battle for third could develop with arch-rival Woodbridge. Catcher Erika Peterson, a sophomore, also returns after an all-league season as a freshman, while pitcher Kym Bixler and outfielder Molly Murphy also return.

Laguna Hills

Coach: Cary Crouch

2000 record: 21-10

League record: 5-3

Cary Crouch (15th year, 254-105-6) might have the league's only team that can match Aliso Niguel's depth. Sophomore pitcher Brittany Fait (18-9, 1.11) must rely on a strong defense, and the Hawks--who have eight starters returning and a starter from two seasons ago--certainly have that. Most aren't quite as solid as Aliso Niguel's non-pitchers, but that's not the case with sophomore second baseman Dominique Lastrapes, a second-team all-county player who batted .467, scored 26 runs and had 22 RBIs. Lastrapes isn't the only sophomore who can hit--designated hitter Jennifer Von Pohlmann batted .305 with 22 RBIs. Other top players include two seniors, first baseman Katie Oliver (.350) and catcher Katie Schorling (.240), and three juniors, shortstop Stephanie Morgan (.345), third baseman Jackie Eliades (.306, 17 stolen bases) and right fielder Erica Corley (.225). Senior outfielder Kim Bisera was a two-time all-league player, but sat out last season with an injury.

Newport Harbor

Coach: Jesse Martinson

2000 record: 9-15

League record: 0-8

A fourth-place finish would represent a significant step for the program, which gets no breaks in this league. The Sailors were playing well at the end of last season for Jesse Martinson (second year), and hope to get off to a good start behind senior catcher/first baseman Lisa Huntington and sophomore shortstop Athena Vasquez.

Woodbridge

Coach: Alan Dugard

2000 record: 19-13

League record: 4-4

Like Irvine, the Warriors are in rebuilding mode under Alan Dugard (10th year, 254-72-1), but should have a solid battery with sophomore pitcher Brittany Crouch and junior catcher Maritza Padilla. The other returning starter is Kayla Creamer, a junior third baseman. The Warriors should be quick in the outfield, paced by sophomore Melissa Hafner and senior Ashley Johnson, and at the top of the lineup. Depth is a question, but the Warriors can't afford to be overlooked.

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