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DAILY NEWS ALL-STAR SOFTBALL GAME: EACH EAST CATCHER SHOULD MAKE IMPACT.

Byline: Gerry Gittelson Staff Writer

The catcher position figured to be crowded for the East team at the 15th annual Daily News All-Star Softball Game at 3:30 p.m. on Monday at Glendale Sports Complex.

But things are sorting themselves out.

Of the four catchers on the roster - a fifth, Hart's Sara Dean, dropped out because of a schedule conflict - sluggers Lauren Watson of Valencia and Ashlie D'Errico of Highland probably will play other positions when not behind the plate.

``This team is loaded but Lauren Watson really can play any position on the field, and the catcher from Highland is a spark plug, just amazing,'' co-coach Dan Berry of Crescenta Valley said.

Eagle Rock's Christina Kula and Verdugo Hills' Crystal Dingman, both home-run hitters, are the East's other catchers.

--A good start: Not surprisingly, Berry has named Crescenta Valley's Meredith Cervenka as the East's starting pitcher. Cervenka, a right-hander bound for Long Beach State, didn't allow an earned run through her first 26 starts. She finished 25-2 with a 0.15 ERA.

Pitchers are limited to three innings for the nine-inning all-star game.

As of Friday, when the East practiced for the second time, Berry was leaning toward right-hander Amanda De La Cerda of Notre Dame and left- hander Lindsey Kontra of Hart as the other probable pitchers. But Quartz Hill's Kellie Cox, Hart's Casey Pickard, Hart's Nichole Rawson and Palmdale's Amanda Wachsmuth all pitched regularly this season.

--Who's on third: Rawson, exclusively a pitcher the last three seasons, might start at third base alongside twin sister Natalie, a shortstop.

``Nichole looked great at third. That's for sure,'' Berry said. ``She's versatile and she knows the game.''

--Lopez might steal show: East center fielder Nancy Lopez of Van Nuys has never received much attention despite batting .424 and stealing 49 bases this season - and 49 as a junior, too.

Perhaps she can use Monday's game as a personal showcase.

``I guess people don't think Van Nuys is a very good team,'' Lopez said. ``It just surprises everybody that one of us can actually hit, run and play defense. I want to go against the best of the best. If I can, I'll try to

steal.''

CAPTION(S):

photo

Photo:

Crescenta Valley's Meredith Cervenka, who was 25-2 this past season, will start for the East.

Gerry Gittelson/Special to the Daily News
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Copyright 2001, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Jun 9, 2001
Words:393
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