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VALLEY / VENTURA COUNTY SPORTS

High School Notebook

March 22, 2001|DAVE DESMOND

La Reina High, defending Southern Section Division V champion, is 3-5, but Coach Don Hyatt isn't panicking.

"We kind of started like this last year too," he said.

The early season has provided some highlights.

Shortstop Monica Thompson has stolen seven bases, giving her a school-record 78 in her career, and La Reina's 14-4 victory over Buena in the second game of a March 13 doubleheader was the 300th in Hyatt's 16-year career.

*

A season of woe continues for Harvard-Westlake (1-6), which won its first Mission League title last season.

Junior Elena Ferrero, a two-time All-Valley selection by The Times, has been hobbled with an ankle injury sustained at the Hart tournament and has not pitched in more than a week. All-league outfielder-shortstop Veronica Brooks has not played after injuring her Achilles' tendon two weeks ago in the state basketball playoffs.

And Harvard-Westlake is trying to replace four key players who graduated.

"When you lose four to graduation and two others are hurt, that doesn't leave a lot," Coach Terry Elledge said.

*

Antelope Valley Coach Kristi Speir is optimistic freshman right-hander Jamie Parker will develop into a top pitcher in the Golden League.

"She's looked very good," Speir said.

Parker (2-1) has alternated with junior Amanda Mathias, but Speir would prefer to move Mathias back to catcher, where she was a two-time all-league selection.

"We're a better team defensively with Amanda back there," Speir said.

*

Hoover won its own tournament last week for the first time since 1997.

"That's also the last time we won [the Pacific] League," Coach Kirt Kohlmeier said. "But I don't want to jinx it or anything."

Hoover (5-4) has rallied from a forgettable start, when a lineup that includes four freshmen committed 16 errors in the first two games.

"Since then, we've come along and we could be good," Kohlmeier said. "If I can capture their hearts and make them believe, they can be tough."

*

Hart Coach Cathy Giordano calls the Santa Ana Foothill tournament the "tournament from hell."

Actually, it might be the Southland's best this season.

The tournament, which will be played March 31 and April 7, will include Hart, Southern Section Division IV runner-up Chaminade, Division I finalists Foothill and Mater Dei, Division III runner-up Pacifica, Marina, Los Alamitos and Aliso Niguel.

*

With six talented freshmen in the lineup, Valencia was one of the youngest teams in the region last season.

The Vikings added another promising freshman this season. Third baseman Kortney Bell is batting .333 with four runs batted in for Valencia (7-1).

Bell's older sister, Heather, helped Calabasas win the Division IV title last season.

"Believe me, it was a welcome sight," Valencia Coach Donna Lee said.

*

Lauren Nydam of Village Christian might be among the region's most promising freshmen.

She was selected most valuable player of the Duarte tournament last week and has yet to allow an earned run for the Crusaders (7-0).

"If Lauren keeps pitching like this, the next four years will be very enjoyable," first-year Coach Jana Kovar said of Nydam (5-0), who has struck out 36 in 28 2/3 innings.

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