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2001 SOFTBALL PREVIEW

South Coast League

February 27, 2001

Capistrano Valley

Coach: Bob Janko

2000 record: 14-14

League record: 6-4

Bob Janko, the first-year coach, inherits a roster featuring eight returning starters and two impressive newcomers. Janko hopes to improve the team's record in close games. A year ago, 10 of the Cougars' 14 losses were by two or fewer runs. Second-team all-league selections Kristin Timbers and Alicia Thompson each batted .348 last season as sophomores. Brooke Weakley will handle the pitching duties after going 20-0 for the junior varsity in 2000.

Dana Hills

Coach: Margo Melendrez

2000 record: 6-19

League record: 4-6

Margo Melendrez (fifth year, 50-53-1) has nine starters back from last season, including pitcher Allison Cohen (4-9, 1.30). Junior first baseman Katie Shields (.402), senior catcher Carrie Bales (14 RBIs), senior outfielder Nicole Gilchrist (.267) and sophomore third baseman Margo Pineda are expected to carry the offensive load, but for the Dolphins to reverse their record, they'll need support up and down the lineup. They'll also need to win their close games. Last season, they lost 11 one-run games.

El Toro

Coach: Jim Daugherty

2000 record: 7-21-1

League record: 2-8

A young El Toro team that finished last a year ago has six returning starters. Coach Jim Daugherty (16th year, 288-170-2) has just one senior on the squad. Outfielder Megan Lally batted .423 in league a year ago and was named first-team all-league. The lone senior, Brytanni Lindheim, batted .250 and was also named all-league. Robin Ford-Feitz and Jennifer Churchill will take care of the pitching duties. Western High transfer Mandy Eamello and freshman pitcher-shortstop Stephanie Churchwell top the list of newcomers.

Mission Viejo

Coach: Denise Ochoa

2000 record: 11-14

League record: 4-6

After finishing in a fourth-place tie last season, Mission Viejo has six returning starters, led by a trio of seniors--catcher Kelly Graham, infielder Katie Kipisz and outfielder Monica Alvarez. Sophomore Kristen Lopez will handle the bulk of the pitching chores. Others expected to contribute are outfielder Alexis Quon, infielder Erin O'Brien and newcomers Heather Durham and Danya Berry.

San Clemente

Coach: Bill Everhart

2000 record: 14-14

League record: 7-3

San Clemente shared the league championship with Trabuco Hills and tied Capistrano Valley for best overall record in the league. Coach Bill Everhart (sixth year, 83-81-2) says defense and speed are the Tritons' strength, and they must build on that to repeat their success. Four all-league selections--infielder Brittany Green, pitcher Brooke Dixon, outfielder Lindsey Lugo and catcher Veronica Lawson--are among San Clemente's six returning starters.

Trabuco Hills

Coach: Robert Wiebort

2000 record: 14-15

League record: 7-3

After a six-win season in his first year as coach, Robert Wiebort saw the Mustangs more than double that total in 2000 on their way to earning a share of the league crown with San Clemente. Wiebort said it will take an all-out effort to stay on top. "We have the ability to be successful if we stay committed," he said. The Mustangs will look to all-league selections Genvielle DeCicco and Shelby Hensler and returning pitcher Nikki Barrett to lead the way. Four freshmen--Katie Chaffin, Risa Krel, Samantha McGee and Elizabeth Vega--could contribute too.

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