Softball: Chino Hills routs St. Lucy’s 11-2 and Huskies coach Mike Southworth doesn’t mince words with the Tribune: “Where we’re from they know about our players and I don’t think out here they have too much of a clue.”


It’s not enough that Chino Hills is the No. 1-ranked team in the Tribune, they were out to prove a point against No. 3 St. Lucy’s and did just that, hammering the Regents 11-2 to take over sole possession of first in the Sierra. St. Lucy’s slugger Brandi Harkness hit a two-run homer in the fourth that momentarily gave the Regents a 2-1 lead, but the Huskies exploded for five runs in the fifth to go up 6-2, then put it away behind Garie Blando’s grand slam in the sixth. Patricia Parks was 4-for-5 for the Huskies, who got 13 hits of St. Lucy’s lefty Danielle O’ Toole. Huskies pitcher Nikki Innamorato, who is 11-2 with a 0.72 ERA, gave up just three hits and struckout nine as the Huskies improved to 18-3 and 3-0 in the Sierra, dropping the Regents to 17-4 and 2-1. Afterward, Huskies coach and quote machine Mike Southworth let us have it, apparently because we don’t give Chino Hills enough props, even though they’re No. 1 in Tribland. Read on, this is great stuff from Southworth, and after the display today, I’m not countering anything the man has to say.

“The thing is, where we’re from they know about our players and I don’t think out here they have too much of a clue. We’ve got five seniors who have been with me since they were freshmen and all of them are good and when you have eight kids out there that are literally going division one, they can all play.

“It doesn’t surprise me (beating St. Lucy’s), we’ve been to to the CIF semifinals three years in a row, so we’ve had some tough games. Even though I know O’Toole is a good pitcher, for some reason we have her number, she hasn’t beaten us for four years. It doesn’t mean she won’t beat us the next time, but for some reason we seem to be really up when she pitches.”

Southworth got really fired up talking about his pitcher, Innamorato.

“She’s got 70 wins in four years. She’s been huge for us. She’s won more games in the CIF playoffs than anyone in the state, 11 of them, and yet she’s not an All-Valley player by the Tribune? It’s like okay, she’s a second thought. She was the best pitcher on the field here and she’s 7-0 or 8-0 against St. Lucy’s, so what does that tell you?”

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  • OK, point proven, Chino Hills. We get it, you’re the nuts … just like how we have you ranked.

    I had never met Coach Mike Southworth until Wednesday, but already he’s one of my favorites. He wasn’t holding back. He think his pitcher has been disrespected by the Trib, and that’s fine. He thinks nobody up here understands Chino Hills’ talent, well, that’s fine, too. I like to hear it. If any coach feels his team or players are being slighted, let us know in the postgame interviews. We love to hear it.

  • R Gary

    ST Lucy’s hadn’t played a game in 2 weeks, and then have to face CH. CH played Monday and Innamorto got 4 innings in. SL should have scheduled a non conf game before the long break, just to stay sharp, in fact CH has more non conf. games this month . Another scheduling mistake by the coaching staff.
    However, no excuses. CH has an outstanding team and probably still would have won. We’ll see if the coach can get this team up and ready next time they play.

  • R Gary

    Aram and Fred,

    No argument Southworth has a great team, and Innamorto is an allstar somewhere. However you should have reminded Mr.Southworth that Chino Hills is 15 miles outside the San Gabriel Valley and well entrenched within the Inland Empire.

  • SL Fan

    What a humble coach this Southworth is. He is lucky to have such good players. He has literally eight D1 players? Wow! They should win CIF. Nobody should even come close to beating CH with those pitching stats and so many D1 players.

  • Fred Robledo

    We added Claremont, Chino Hills and Ayala to our coverage area when South Hills, Charter Oak and Damien/St. Lucy’s all became part of the Sierra League. They’re not technically in the SGV, but close enough, so all six schools are also included for postseason award consideration. As for Southworth’s comments, I get it, but they’re not exactly the Mater Dei of the Inland Empire. South Hills just went to back-to-back finals in the same division while Chino Hills got knocked off in the semifinals. If Chino Hills wants more love, win a title or at least get to Irvine. I can’t rank them higher than No. 1, and when the season’s over, we’ll look at who did what and hand out the awards appropriately.

  • Clown

    Hey Southwhine, is The Tribune or The Daily Bulletin delivered to the fine folks of Chino? I believe it is the Bulletin, go whine to them.

  • tommykiss

    I can only imagine what he will say when I get the camera on him, which will be on Friday @ South Hills

  • 1+

    Maybe you should rank them 1+. An “A” is not an “A+”. Fred, how about sticking one of those stars kids get in kindergarten next to their name, that should make him very happy.

  • Humble Pie!

    Stay humble Southworth!

  • paper champion

    Wow coach, you are a legend without a CIF title. Maybe CH can make it to Irvine one day. Jeez, South Hills has made it to CIF finals the past two years with only a couple of D1 players, what’s your excuse?

  • reality

    Coach, never a good idea to open your pie-hole to big. Just ask Bobby Valentine. When Aram shoves that little tape recorder of his up to your cavity you better think. The world does not revolve around CH.

  • hssb

    Don’t judge the Chino Hills girls by Coach Southworth’s comments. Sounds like he got a little fired up, but he means well. While he went a little overboard, you have to admire his spunk in sticking up for his team.

    The team is very talented, but they are also very humble. Yes they are focused, but focused on trying to win one game at a time. They are fully aware they have not yet won a CIF title and that they will have to continue to prove themselves on the field. And of course, their goal is to win league and CIF this year, but as always, we will all have to wait to see how it plays out on the field.

  • OldMan in Chino

    To Fred and others:

    Check the CIF records for the 2004-05 softball season. Chino Hills High was the CIF Champs beating Redlands East Valley, Temescal Canyon, Capistrano Valley, Peninsula and El Dorado on their way to the CIF Championship. They took CIF in their 4th year of competition. I realize that their Championship was before they were covered by The Tribune, but none the less they have won a CIF Championship.

  • Old Man in Chino,

    Actually, the Tribune did cover that team. I covered several of their games and Mike Smith was the Tribune Coach of the Year and I believe Carissa Bronson, their pitcher, was our Player of the Year.

    Maybe nobody recalls because that was a year or two before the blog.

  • hssb

    Old Man In Chino is correct. Chino Hills did win a CIF Championship in Softball in the 2004 and 2005 season, and it was magical to watch. They had many Div I players back then, but more importanly, they had team chemistry and everyone contributed.

    The current team is very similar and certainly has the talent and the drive to do it again, but we all know the saying….”on any given Sunday…” My bet is on them to win League and CIF, but they will have to continue to work hard each game and stay focused. It’s been great to watch, with every game having a different or multiple heros. Get it done, girls!

  • What have you done lately?

    Old Man,
    That’s great about the 2004-05 season. But mouthworth is playing up his current team, with players he has had since they were freshman.

  • Stanford Dad

    Fred maybe if you can keep that panocha Aram from writing checks with his mouth that his body can’t catch let’s have a little fun with this.

    When Chino Hills had a stud coach in Roche beating up Morrison, Chino Hills was out of our area. When Chino Hills and Derek Brown was beating up that prick Dunn, Chino Hills was out of our area. And when Ayala had Coach Gregory who routinely embarrassed Coach Dunn, Ayala was out of or area. Suddenly the Sierra League is losing powerhouse coaches yearly NOW its time to cover the SL?

    So even though the Sierra League, a traditional Fish Bowl Elite League, was dominating with superior coaching studs in Le Duc and Pasquerella @ Glendora, Roche and whoever coached baseball and basketball at Chino Hills and Ayala who had a stud wrestling coach, stud basketball coach and Basketball stud, they were out of our area.

    So is what you’re saying now is that the Sierra League is the dominant “league” in the Fish Bowl especially when you consider the Girls teams in softball, basketball, track, soccer and swimming was always dominant compared to ANY other Fish Bowl league, apologies to Bishop.

    Too funny. As I’ve said often “friends playing friends and neighbors playing neighbors”. When will we see the Sierra League play Loyola, Servite, Orange Lutheran and Notre Dame on a yearly basis? Who need the IE when the Parochial school historical powers have been itching to play the SL!

    Incredible that you guys ignored the most dominant “LEAGUE” in the Fish Bowl for almost 6 years.

  • Steve Ramirez

    Wow! Where was this fire when he was Nogales boys basketball coach in the late 1980s? I remember him well.

  • Writing checks that my body can’t catch? Really FC, I mean Stanford Dad?

    What’s so hilarious is you left out that during all this butt kicking you said Damien was getting in the Sierra League you were calling yourself “Damien Dad” on these very blogs.


    Oh man, you and your anti-psychotic meds never fail to amaze.

  • SBSL

    R Y A N-W A L S H- W A L S H- W A L S H
    Saint Lucy’s pitching coach is responsible for the loss but he will blame his pitchers and catchers instead of taking responsibility. The Chino hills coach has every right to be proud of his team. Saint Lucy’s wanted the win. Most SL girls play TB with the chino hills girls Saint Lucy’s players were well aware of what they were going up against. The coaches didn’t know because they don’t do their homework. Saint Lucy’s does not have that type of support from the 4 or 5 coaches they have who did nothing for them after chino hills scored all those runs.
    Saint Lucy’s was out coached it’s that simple.

  • SL Fan

    Don’t count out the Regents yet. Yes, historicaly they have not played Chino Hills well and CH may win League. It’s all about getting to CIF, then anything can happen. Regents lost to CH three times last year but were one game from playing in the CIF Championship game. The SL team is still a threat and a great team.

  • ErnieT

    Hey Mike, you lost a ton of basketball games in CIF, too. Maybe it’s the coaching!

  • Old Bart

    So is it the The Tribune’s fault why CH can’t get past CIF semi-finals? Maybe if their darlings weren’t so disrespected…….with all that talent……maybe it’s coaching?

  • Got Coaching?

    SL was clearly out coached, Taking nothing away for the talent at CH, The coaches played CH like they played Claremont and Alta Loma, You cannot expect to be successful by doing this, During the 5th inning a good coach would have warmed up his other pitcher, Called time out and visited the mound , Change the pitch calling because it had been figured out, Change the line up because our hitting wasn’t effective, Maybe even start playing some small ball and make them make a play, Put in some of his seasoned travel players that were on the bench who may have had productive at bats because current status quo wasn’t doing it (and I dont mean all of them) But we know nothing and the its the same ole music for the next 3 weeks! I hope we (coaches) do better and perhaps learn from our mistakes, But I know I will probably be wrong, It’s been really frustrating on the hill lately.

  • Insider

    St. Lucy’s has a very good team, but they are not a lock to make the playoffs (Sierra is too tough). If it weren’t for an untimely throwing error by South Hills, the Regents would be (1-2) in league.

    I can’t help but think the those who blame the pitching and head coaches are part of a bigger problem. There’s a lot of dysfunction up there at St. Lucy’s — but not necessarily on the field, it’s with many of the parents.

    O’Toole is under way too much pressure. The hype by the Tribune, the overbearing dad, the expectations of a CIF championship riding on her shoulders… I doubt the reason she struggles has less to do with pitch selection, but in her inability to nail down her command in the late innings. When she’s relaxed, she’s extremely effective and difficult to hit.

    If the coaches poured through the stats they would see a stellar ERA in the first through fourth innings, but a mess from the 5th inning on. Mechanically speaking, in the late innings she tends to aim the ball and get careful instead of attack. As a result, her pitches lose the snap on the breaking balls and the pitches tend to run up. Not only does she give up a lot more hits in the late innings, the hits are extra-bases and for distance. If she’s allowed to fix this on her own, then SL has a great chance to win the Sierra and possibly CIF.

    And you can’t blame O’Toole, the coaches or anyone for yesterday’s loss, they just got beat by a better team.

  • Got Coaching?

    To Insider, While you are correct in SL getting beat by a better team, The coaching has to act and should have made a pitching change in the 5th if the current pitcher was struggling (coaching 101) or Should have at least warmed up a great No. 2 in Caroline Smith, Perhaps adjusted his line up due to lack of run production, And in regards to the parents, Some are just really frustrated with the lack of action by the current coaching staff and ignorance of the talent pool the team is made up of. Some are more vocal than others and some just keep it to themselves, But all in all we are very frustrated as a whole because this team is much more capable of what was shown yesterday. I can play arm chair quarter back all day long but was done is done.

  • Bumblebee

    Out coached, outhit, out fielded, out of excuses. You can’t give a good team four to five outs in one inning and St. Lucy’s did it three times. You can put any coach you want in there but it wouldn’t change the lack of communication,lack of hitting and the simple mistakes made on the field by good travel players. The fact is Chino Hills has a ton of talent and you could have brought anyone off that bench to hit put any travel coach in to coach and it wouldn’t have made a difference yesterday. CH pitcher was on and she is good while St. Lucy’s lacked leadership on the field and they will need to find it in order to make a CIF run. If they continue to fold under pressure (the team as a whole)they won’t make CIF.

  • SBSL

    Coaching issues… come see for yourself… come see how the head coach RYAN coaches. Will he argue a call? Will he engage with his players? will he engage with his other coaches? Will he ever go on the field? Will he ever talk to players? We have a great pitcher on the bench who he wont warm up, he is so busy thinking about HOW TO GET BACK AT PARENTS THROUGH KIDS he can’t possibly coach. Again, this is saint lucy’s HEAD COACH.
    The good ole “Who is better” …. CH won and SL didn’t and we do have serious coaching issues. No one at SL is saying that CH didn’t deserve to win they did and they should be proud. In this TB world we all know many of the players and we wish them good luck. Enuff with the pounding of the chest. Saint lucy’s has just as many college athletes as CH does sooo whats your point?
    Chino Hills has talent granted but don’t count all your chickens just so fast. Wins feel great we all love them. CH won and we lost now what?
    Saint Lucy’s has serious coaching issues but it wont change because RYAN is all about HIMSELF. He cares not one inch about these players even though he says he does the only thing he cares about is his title HEAD COACH.

  • Frank the Genius

    I think Frank was trying to say that you shouldn’t bite off more than you can change. Or maybe he wanted to just give you a taste of your own vitamins. Either way, I think I speak for everyone when I say Frank’s contributions to this blog are always a blessing in the skies.

  • R Gary

    Any chance that St. Lucy’s volleyball or soccer coaches can also coach softball? No compaints from the parents with these sports.

  • hssb

    Seriously…You St. Lucy’s parents are completely out of control. You are not teaching your kids anything useful they can use if life.

    Is St. Lucy’s coaching lacking? Absolutely! Is it the parent’s place to complain? Absolutely not!

    Your kids need to understand how life works. Are there people at your job that don’t perform like they should? Do you ever disagree with your bosses decisions? Do you think that their future college coaches will make every decision you want them to make and your “Susie” will play all the time? Of course not! Do you think everything is rosey at Chino Hills, Ayala, Glendora or any other school? Of course not! There will always be somebody unhappy.

    Welcome to the real world and having to learn to get along and play politics. Do your kids a favor and shut your mouths and let them play and deal with the situation on their own. After all, most of them are 18 and will be out in the real world in a few months. Trust me, you will be doing them a favor.

  • SBSL

    Dear hssb ,
    SL parents are completely out of control but, your here and you posted ..right?

  • Boo boo da foo.

    Parents of non starters complained so much about the soccer team that the powers that be fired the head soccer coach. Amazing!