HIGH SCHOOL SOFTBALL: ECR SHOWS JUST HOW GOOD IT IS.
The El Camino Real of Woodland Hills softball team has heard suggestions that it is not quite as good as its record suggests, and that its wildly successful season is at least partly a function of playing against lesser City opponents.
That made winning the Birmingham tournament by defeating two tough Ventura County Southern Section teams on Saturday that much more satisfying.
ECR defeated perennial Marmonte League power Newbury Park 1-0 in the de facto championship game. Earlier in the day, the Conquistadores beat Oxnard 7-0.
"A lot of the people think that just because we're in the City, that's why we win a lot of games, so it's nice to win games like this," ECR pitcher Megan Miller said after pitching a one-hitter against Newbury Park.
Miller (12-1) pitched 5 1/2 innings of no-hit ball against Oxnard, combining with Brittany Goodchild on a one-hitter.
ECR (17-1) was 3-1 in the 11-team tournament, finishing in a three-way tie with Newbury Park and Alemany of Mission Hills, but the Conquistadores were awarded the title based on allowing the fewest runs (one) in the tournament.
Tournament host Birmingham is 3-0 and still has one tournament game remaining against Agoura that will be played at a date and time still to be determined, but Patriots coach Jim Rose said that only ECR, Newbury Park and Alemany deserved consideration for the non-bracketed tourney title because they had played the toughest schedule.
"I didn't want to homer my own tournament," Rose said.
Alemany, which handed ECR its only tournament loss (1-0 on April 8), defeated Westlake 4-2 and Oxnard 7-0 on Saturday. Pitching standout Jen Day went the distance in both games, allowing two unearned runs on seven hits and tallying nine strikeouts.
Miller struck out six and faced the minimum 21 batters against Newbury Park. After allowing a one-out single to Tiffany Curtis in the top of the first, Miller induced an inning-ending 5-4-3 double play, starting a streak of 19 consecutive batters retired.
ECR scored its only run in the first inning when Francesca Enea followed Bianca Mejia's two-out walk with an RBI double down the left field line.
Right fielder Shasta Lionetti made one of several outstanding defensive plays for ECR in the second, robbing Jessie Hofius of extra bases with a great running catch in front of the wall in the gap.
"We're playing great defense," Miller said. "As a pitcher, that gives you a lot of confidence."
Newbury Park pitcher Lindsey Cunningham struck out 10 batters and allowed one run on three hits and one walk.
"It doesn't matter if they're City Section or Southern Section, (El Camino Real) is one of the best teams I've seen in a long time," Newbury Park coach Darrin Carr said.
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|Publication:||Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)|
|Date:||Apr 23, 2006|
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