Softball: La Salle all but wrapped up CRL championship

Click here for a photo gallery of Thursday’s Mary Star-La Salle game shot by Star-News staff photographer Sarah Reingewirtz

La Salle broke a tie in the sixth by scoring three runs en route to a 6-3 win over Mary Star of the Sea on Thursday afternoon in Camino Real League play at Latter-day Saints Church. The second-ranked Lancers (16-5, 5-0) all but wrapped up the Camino Real League title with the victory. The Stars (10-7, 3-2) will likely finish second. Mary Star took a 1-0 lead in the second when Emily Demers doubled to score April Javier. La Salle took a 3-1 lead in the third after Allie Forillo’s hit went through the legs of Stars third baseman Elizabeth Gomez. Forillo’s double scored Melissa Miller to tie the game at 1. Katie Tripoli’s RBI triple scored Forillo to give the Lancers a 2-1 lead. Maddie Herlache helped her own cause when on the first pitch had a base hit that also went through the legs of Gomez, scoring Tripoli for the 3-1 lead. Gomez didn’t make the same mistake a third time. Sterling Shuster’s grounder to third recorded the third out. Herlache pitched went the distance to record the win. Mary Star added another run in the fifth and sixth to tie the game, 3-3, but that’s as close as they would get. La Salle capitalized in the sixth with bases loaded. Miller’s single to right scored Shuster and Victoria Baltazar to give the Lancers a 5-3 lead. With runners on third and second, Kathryn Haderlein’s sacrifice bunt scored Meaghan Allen to make it, 6-3. There was a scary moment in the seventh with one out and one on for Mary Star. Kristen Legaspi-Valdez attempted to steal third. She was tagged out and hurt her neck. She lay on the ground motionless and was tense. There was a 25-minute delay as paramedics were called to the scene. She was taken to a nearby hospital for X-Rays. La Salle coach Michael Harper said she was going to be OK and was taken for precautionary reasons.

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BREAKING NEWS: Monrovia fires Raphael Camacho

Monrovia athletic director Randy Bell confirmed the school has fired girls basketball coach Raphael Camacho. “There was some small issues but mainly it was some personality issues,” Bell said when reached by telephone. “(It was) just not a good match. The guy can coach but after a couple years it was evident it wasn’t working. Secondly, there was some program management issues on his part; just the development of the program.” Camacho was informed of the school’s decision the week leading up to spring break. “He was surprised but certainly handled himself really well. He understood where we were coming from and was very respectful, and I anticipated that from him. But, yes, it surprised him.” Camacho led the Wildcats to the quarterfinals of the CIF-Southern Section playoffs in his first season and most recently led Monrovia to a Rio Hondo League championship and a semifinal run in the playoffs before losing to eventual CIF-SS and CIF State champion Foothill. Monrovia loses four talented seniors in Jasmine Gordon, Maryum Jenkins, Vanessa Hernandez and Ashley Quionez. The Wildcats return talented freshman Gina Henderson who dropped 38 points against Foothill.

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BREAKING NEWS: S. Pasadena’s Rob Hertel resigns

South Pasadena athletic director Ralph Punaro confirmed Tigers baseball coach Rob Hertel has resigned. Hertel was at the helm for two seasons, and at season’s end will complete his third year. He was a walk-on coach. “(Hertel) resigned a couple of days ago,” Punaro said. “He’s still coaching and will coach until the end of the season. We’re sorry that it’s happening. Is it a surprise? Somewhat? He made it public to the players last week.” More details to come.

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Baseball: La Caada goes from first to fourth in RHL

Temple City coach Barry Bacon called it.

“Someone is going to be fourth real fast,” he said last week after the Rams’ 4-3 win over La Caada.

And if you look at the Rio Hondo League standings you’ll see that Monrovia has taken control with a 7-2 league record, followed by San Marino (7-3); Temple City (7-3); and now the Spartans (6-3). I’ve been getting some heat for supposedly calling this year’s Rio Hondo League the strongest and deepest. By no stretch did your favorite sportswriter ever say that. I posed the question and it’s obvious you have given an emphatic answer. But you can’t argue there’s excitement in this league race as we spearhead to the playoffs. Sure, I wasn’t anywhere near the SGV when Temple City had Tucker and La Caada had Stoner and Monrovia had McKiernan. But I’m here now and what I’m seeing is excitement no matter how you want to compare this year’s RHL teams to the past. We should stop living in the past and look forward to what we have right now, and that’s an exciting league. The bigger question now is, what game on Friday is bigger: Monrovia at La Caada or Temple City at San Marino? Where should I go?

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Baseball: San Marino at it again, defeats La Caada, 8-4


The memo went out but apparently the San Marino High School baseball team never received it. In a matter of days, the surging Titans went from a darkhorse team to a major player in the Rio Hondo League, and their 8-4 win over La Caada on Wednesday accentuated that statement. San Marino (13-6, 7-3) extended its winning streak to six games, including key victories over Temple City, Monrovia and now the baffled Spartans (14-6, 6-3). Trevor Dority pitched six innings to record the win and Chris Warren pitched a strong seventh to record the save for the Titans. It wasn’t the best of days for La Caada standout Eric Smith who not only took the loss but was also tossed from the game. He entered the sixth with a 2-1 lead. San Marino’s bats, however, came to life and scored five runs to take a 6-2. The Spartans mounted a comeback in the bottom of the sixth, scoring two runs to pull to within, 6-4, after Bryan Collins and Brendon Shoemake scored on a fielder’s choice and on Jeff Oechsel’s RBI single. Facing a full count — with two outs and Oechsel at first and Ian Donnelly at second — Smith struck out swinging on Warren’s fastball. Smith’s emotions got the better part of him as he threw his bat into the dugout, prompting the home plate umpire to throw him out, too. As a result, Smith will not play in Friday’s showdown against San Marino. “That was the hardest part of that,” La Caada coach Dennis Ballard said, “that he can’t play Friday.” Dylan Bensinger singled to right center to drive home Steven Wright and tie the game, 2-2 in the sixth. Kevin Gute then singled down the first base line to drive home Michael Thompson and give the Titans a 3-2 lead it would not relinquish. Bensinger was caught in a pickle heading home. He was tagged by Smith at home but Smith dropped the ball, prompting Bensinger to touch home plate. The umpire initially ruled him safe, but the call was reversed after a lengthy meeting with the second base umpire. Nevertheless, Chris Warren drew a walk to load the bases and Gute scored after Tarik El-abour was hit by a pitch. Jonathan Merhaut’s single up the middle scored Thomas Lopez and Warren to make it, 6-2. “We went into the sixth with the best closer in the league with Eric Smith and (San Marino) beat him up,” Ballard said. “They did a nice job.” That the Titans’ got their runs against a standout player like Smith was pleasant, to say the least. “We were fortunate to have some success against (Smith), and he’s been dominant this year so it does feel good,” Paciorek said. “It allows us to realize we can go out there against a guy with some good velocity and still put the ball in play and battle.”

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