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?”