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SOUTHERN SECTION SOFTBALL ROUNDUP: HART FUMBLES HELP CERRITOS : CHAMINADE ADVANCES WITH SQUEAKER VICTORY AGAINST LA CANADA.

Byline: Daily News

The Hart High softball team, which has played sound defense for most of the season, collapsed Thursday, making five errors. Host Cerritos took advantage for a 5-2 win in the Southern Section Division II quarterfinals.

The second-seeded Dons (24-7) face third-seeded Corona in the semifinals Tuesday. The Indians finished the season 23-6-1.

``It was a total letdown on defense,'' said Hart coach Cathy Giordano. ``They just broke down.''

Defensive breakdowns led to two unearned runs and a 2-0 Cerritos lead after four innings.

Hart's offense was stymied through the first five innings as junior left-hander Jessica van der Linden (17-5) retired the first 11 batters and 16 of the first 17. But the Indians rallied in the sixth.

With one out and runners on second and third, Carly Caldaronello's bloop single down the right-field line scored Stacey Holbrook, who pinch-ran for Kortney Downen after she doubled to begin the Indians' late comeback.

Kristin Lueke, who managed an infield single, then scored from third to make it 2-2 after starting pitcher Lindsey Kontra grounded to second.

The comeback didn't matter in the bottom half of the sixth.

Cerritos, which had runners on in every inning and ended up leaving nine on base, produced a two-out rally, scoring three runs off reliever Amanda Fortune (11-3-1).

Van der Linden, who finished with six strikeouts, retired Hart in order to close the seventh.

``(Kontra and Fortune) didn't pitch a bad game,'' Giordano said. ``We just made mistakes.''

- Brian Dalziel

In other Southern Section softball quarterfinals Thursday:

Chaminade 1, La Canada 0: With all the hype surrounding Eagles senior pitcher Maureen LeCocq, sometimes the other eight Chaminade players get lost in the shuffle.

Entering the Division IV quarterfinals, La Canada was fully aware of the abilities possessed by Stanford-bound LeCocq.

But it was a rock-solid defense and Christina Lupacchini's fourth-inning RBI single that allowed the top-seeded Eagles (23-6-1) to get past the Spartans (20-8-1).

``I have a lot of respect for La Canada,'' said Chaminade head coach Steve Harrington, whose team won its 19th game in a row. ``We just took what they gave us and didn't commit any mistakes.''

The Spartans - bidding to knock off the Eagles for the second time in three years - forced the right-hander to throw 92 pitches but managed only one hit and three baserunners in 24 at-bats.

Other than Jamie Hurst's fourth-inning single to center, only Tyraysha Peterson and Jennifer Geisbauer reached base for La Canada.

Kristin Senac's final at-bat was indicative of the way the Spartans challenged LeCocq (21-2) all afternoon. Senac fouled off six pitches before grounding out to end the game.

``Maureen pitched a great game and she moved the ball around real well,'' said La Canada head coach Bart Dickins. ``We're disappointed, but to hold a great team like Chaminade to one run on a bleeder hit, we have nothing to be ashamed of.''

After dodging a bullet in the first, Spartans starter Megan Stevens (9-4-1) settled down in the second and third before the Eagles struck in the fourth.

Courtney Whale, who had been battling kidney stones all week, led off the inning with a double to right-center, one of only three hits allowed by Stevens. After a sacrifice bunt by Lauren Rousselet, Lupacchini looped an 0-2 pitch over second for the game winner.

- Erik Boall

Newbury Park 3, Valencia (P) 1: Winning pitcher Katie Stokx scattered seven hits and her Panthers teammates overcame the two-hit pitching of Michelle Whiteman to nip the Tigers (24-7) in a Division III game at Newbury Park.

Tawni Yamauchi led the limited offense for the Panthers (24-7), getting both hits and driving in the winning run in a two-RBI effort.

Boron 13, Avalon 5: Lisa Oates tripled and drove in three runs, and Emily Palmquist and winning pitcher Jennifer Jenkins had two hits each - Palmquist driving in two runs - as the top-seeded Bobcats (23-0) advanced to a semifinal meeting with either Pioneer Baptist or No. 4-seeded Victor Valley Christian on Tuesday. Boron outhit the Lancers 7-4.

L.A. Baptist 5, Mary Star 0: Nikki Girard struck out eight in a complete-game five-hitter and added two RBI, Cindy Shaw had two hits and Kelly Feirfeil three stolen bases as the Alpha League-champion Knights (14-11) won.

The Knights made the Camino Real League champion Stars (21-4) a second straight upset victim to earn LAB's first semifinal appearance since 1983.

The Knights, who knocked off top-seeded St. Joseph of Santa Maria in the second round, will play Calvary Chapel of Santa Ana in Tuesday's semifinals.

Moreno Valley 5, Saugus 0: The Ivy League Vikings (20-7), who qualified for the Division II playoffs as an at-large team, broke a scoreless tie with two runs in the fourth and added three more in the fifth to eliminate the Foothill League-champion Centurions (18-10-1) at Moreno Valley.

Rosary 2, Harvard-Westlake 0: After knocking off league champions in their past two Division IV playoff outings, the Wolverines (15-15) came up short against the No. 4-seeded Royals (23-8). The Golden West League champions scored in the first and third innings to earn a semifinal berth against Chaminade.

Calvary Chapel 3, La Reina 2: The Olympic League runner-up Eagles earned a semifinal berth against L.A. Baptist by upsetting the No. 4-seeded Regents in Thousand Oaks, ending the Tri-Valley League champion's season at 21-8.

CAPTION(S):

Photo

Photo: Erin Taylor (18) celebrates with Maureen LeCocq after Chaminade defeated La Canada 1-0. The Eagles played excellent defense.

Keith Birmingham/Special to the Daily News
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:SPORTS
Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:May 28, 1999
Words:918
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