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SOFTBALL

No Puffs, Just Cream on Rosary Schedule

March 27, 2001|MARTIN HENDERSON

Rosary lost twice last week, and for good reason.

In the eight years that Tom Tice has coached the Royals, last week presented the toughest set of pitchers his team has faced: Kennedy's Michelle Turner, Sonora's Carrie Wisen and Foothill's Courtney Fossatti.

"That's the most challenging week we've ever had," Tice said. "Those are three of the best credentialed pitchers around. All threw hard, and we had a hard time getting the bat on all of them. The reason we scheduled those games was to challenge ourselves. You don't get better by playing cream puffs. We wanted to play the best, and we certainly got it this week."

Kennedy beat Rosary, 2-1, and Foothill beat the Royals, 3-0, on Fossatti's perfect game. In between, Rosary beat Wisen, 7-0, a game in which the Sonora defense contributed to a one-sided score.

"Wisen threw really well--it should have been a lot closer game than it was," Tice said. "If she stays healthy, they can be really good. Their defense made some untimely mistakes, and we scored a lot of runs with two outs."

Fossatti was even more impressive to Tice, whose team lost a last-inning lead to Foothill a year ago in the Michelle Carew Classic.

"She threw less hard than I remembered her throwing, but I believe her location was pinpoint, and her pitches probably work better when she takes a little bit off," Tice said. "The combination of her throwing so accurately and the defense knowing exactly what's coming is unbeatable. . . . [That's] what pitching is all about. It's not just about blowing people away."

CATCH ME IF YOU CAN

Kennedy had a minor emergency last week before its game against Rosary.

Fighting Irish catcher Brook Porter had strep throat. No biggie, said Coach Sue Hall. She would use backup Talasa Vigil.

But after noon, Hall discovered that Vigil had some dental work that day and was in no condition to catch. "She was numb," Hall said.

So the Irish went with Plan C, and Lorraine Geiger made her varsity debut at catcher.

Geiger, a first baseman, looked overmatched early on. After a walk, stolen base and a bunt, Rosary leadoff batter Dana Kenney scored when Geiger let a third strike get past her.

But that was all the offense Rosary mustered, and Kennedy pitcher Michelle Turner finished with a one-hitter in a 2-1 win.

A TIMELY WIN

Bolsa Grande ended its 67-game losing streak Thursday with a 4-3 victory over Brethren Christian. The Matadors scored in the bottom of the eighth on Brook Schuster's two-strike, two-out infield single that scored Tu Nguyen.

"You ever see the end of the World Series when they jump all over each other? That's what it looked like," said Coach Steve Howard. "It was fun."

It was the team's first victory since Mary Petrie graduated in 1997 after pitching Bolsa Grande into the playoffs.

"Winning is a good feeling, no matter what," Howard said. "For them to win this game, . . . there's a sense of excitement and euphoria. The big thing for them is to realize they can do it."

NEW DIGS

Brittany Fait christened Laguna Hills' new home field with her first pitch on Tuesday against an old rival, Trabuco Hills. The Hawks won the opener of a doubleheader, 1-0, but lost the second game, 5-0. The field is in the city park adjacent to the school.

"We went down on Friday [March 16] just to take a look at it, but hadn't played on it until the game," Laguna Hills Coach Cary Crouch said. "It's going to take awhile--we need to work the field a little bit to make it a home game. It's a gorgeous place."

Crouch said the infield still needs to be smoothed, that there were some bad hops during the second game, but there's a lot of promise. "The fence out there looks like the green monster, it's real clean, a real nice setting. It's a showcase for Laguna Hills."

LOOKING AHEAD

Foothill is hosting its first tournament, the Foothill Invitational, with eight teams participating on Saturday. The Knights did so as a replacement for the defunct Fountain Valley tournament. Among the top matchups: Foothill vs. Marina at 9 a.m., and Los Alamitos vs. Mater Dei at 3:45 p.m.

The game of the week might be Wednesday, when Canyon plays at Pacifica, though Thursday's matchup, Marina at Kennedy, is also outstanding.

*

Correspondent Mike Haubrich contributed to this report.

If you have an item or idea for the softball report, you can fax us at (714)966-5663 or e-mail us at: martin.henderson@latimes.com

(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX / INFOGRAPHIC)

SOFTBALL TOP 10

Orange County Sportswriters' Poll

*--*

Pos. School League Rec 1. Foothill Century 10-1 2. Canyon Century 9-3 3. Kennedy Empire 6-2 4. Pacifica Garden Grove 2-1 5. Marina Sunset 6-1 6. Esperanza Sunset 9-1 7. Loara Empire 9-0 8. Rosary Serra 6-4 9. Mater Dei Serra 8-5 10. Los Alamitos Sunset 2-5

*--*

Others: Capistrano Valley, Cypress, Laguna Hills, Santa Margarita.

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