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VALLEY / VENTURA COUNTY SPORTS | HIGH SCHOOL NOTEBOOK

Region's Top Teams Prepare for Tough Tournament Tests

March 27, 2001|DAVE DESMOND

The softball tournament season begins in earnest this week, with seven of The Times' top 10 teams competing in three tournaments.

No. 6 Westlake (4-2) meets No. 8 El Camino Real (9-2) in pool play of the 16-team San Fernando Valley tournament on Saturday.

The tournament, which also includes No. 1 Crescenta Valley (6-1), concludes April 7.

No. 2 Hart (7-1) meets No. 5 Chaminade (2-2-1) Saturday in pool play of the Foothill tournament, which includes nationally ranked Santa Ana Mater Dei and Santa Ana Foothill.

No. 4 Valencia (8-1) and No. 7 Highland (4-2) are the favorites in the High Desert Classic, which begins Friday in Lancaster and continues on Saturday and Monday.

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Palmdale (3-7-2) has received strong pitching from Amanda Wachsmuth and Michelle Lee, but the Falcons' defense has been less than impressive.

Wachsmuth (2-4) and Lee (1-3) have earned-run averages of 1.05 and 1.25, but Palmdale has allowed 34 unearned runs.

"We've given up so many unearned runs, it's unreal," assistant Ray Beltrami said.

If there's one consolation, it's that no team in the Golden League has looked overwhelming.

Only Highland (4-2) is over .500 and it has a batting average under .200. Longtime league power Quartz Hill is 3-6.

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Lancaster Bethel Christian entered the Southern Section record book last week with a 38-26 loss to the Apple Valley Academy for Academic Excellence.

The 64 runs broke the mark of 63 set in 1987 by Simi Valley Lutheran and Viewpoint.

There were 38 walks in the game, 29 by Lancaster Bethel pitchers.

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