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Texas Has Edge on California Teams

March 15, 2005|Martin Henderson | Times Staff Writer

The Sugar Land (Texas) Elkins softball team won the Mohave Tournament of Champions in Bullhead City, Ariz., on Saturday, and it took a chunk out of California along the way.

Elkins, ranked No. 1 at the end of last season by Student Sports magazine after a 39-0 season, defeated Chino Hills, Whittier California, Lake Forest El Toro and Garden Grove Pacifica, the latter by a score of 3-0 in the title game. Elkins went into the tournament ranked No. 11 in the nation; Pacifica was ranked No. 1.

Texas teams -- Keller defeated El Toro, 7-0, in the third-place game -- had a decided advantage over their California counterparts. They've been playing for a month.

Pacifica finished the tournament 6-1. Elkins (19-0) beat Santa Ana Mater Dei in last year's final and became the tournament's first back-to-back winner.

Krista Seeman of Irvine Woodbridge, a junior pitcher/first baseman, had 16 hits in her first 21 at-bats, with two home runs, 16 runs batted in and five runs.

Seeman went 11 for 15 in Bullhead City.

"She's probably the best pure hitter I've ever had. She doesn't need to slap, she doesn't need to bunt, she just hits the ball," said Coach Alan Dugard, who coached Alison Johnsen and Natasha Watley, both of whom were college All-Americans.

Westlake Village Oaks Christian, a small school with big aspirations, came into the season ranked No. 49 nationally and No. 10 in the Southland. The Cardinals opened last week in St. George, Utah, but lost two of three games.

One thing that didn't help the softball team was the success of the school's soccer team. Second baseman Julia Humphries and left fielder Sydney Latta both played on the squad that tied Cerritos Valley Christian for the Division V title on March 5.

"We're just not deep," Ackermann said.

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