Klein has Highlanders off … and running

An outstanding performance Wednesday by freshman pitcher Kayla Klein
pushed La Habra into Friday’s first round of the CIF-SS, Division III
softball playoffs.

The Highlanders will travel to Irvine to face
Beckman, the Pacific Coast League champion, ranked No. 4 in the final
CIF-SS poll and seeded No. 4 in the division for the playoffs.

Klein scattered four hits, tied her season high with 12 strikeouts and walked
one in leading a 2-1 win over visiting Quartz Hill. Klein also had the game-winning hit, a two-out, bases-loaded, RBI-single in the sixth inning that broke a 1-1 tie.

In Wednesday’s other wild card game involving an area team, California rolled over host Westminster La Quinta, 16-3, and will be on the road to face Ocean League champion, Santa Monica (21-8) Friday.

Other softball games scheduled Friday:
Temescal Canyon (21-6) is at La Mirada (20-7)
Wild card winner between Burbank/Burroughs (13-12)-La Reina (13-11) at
host La Serna (20-7)
Santa Fe (14-12) at Laguna Hills (20-6)
St. Paul (16-10) at Chaminade (15-10)
WC winner between Mark Keppel (14-5)-Duarte (10-12) at Whittier Christian (17-8-1)
Flintridge Prep (12-7) at Schurr (16-6)
WC winner between La Canada (12-12)-Ridgecrest Burroughs (16-10) at
Montebello (11-14)
WC winner between Arroyo (14-8)-Sacred Heart of Jesus (7-9) at Cantwell
Sacred Heart (17-9).

Baseball games Thursday:
California (17-11) at Cajon (22-3)
La Mirada (18-12) at Paloma Valley (21-3)
Montebello (15-8) at La Serna 18-8)
Downey (18-10) at El Rancho (20-4)
Bishop Montgomery (15-10-10 at Whittier Christian (16-10)
Montclair Prep (16-10) at St. Paul (18-11-1)

Baseball game Friday:
Santa Maria St. Joseph (12-12) at La Habra (14-9).

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Del Rio baseball settled, finally …

Chris Vargas’ no-hit pitching and a sparkling defensive effort, despite three errors, carried El Rancho to a 3-1 victory over La Serna and a second consecutive DRL baseball championship.
The Dons turned four double plays, highlighted by second-baseman Mike Manriquez’s pivot at the bag and impressive play all around.
Marcus Aldecoa, limited to designated hitter responsibilities due to a still-sore groin pull, set the offensive tone when he drew a two-out base on balls in the second inning, and when La Serna second baseman Raymond Morrill muffed Carlos Cabrera’s ground ball, Aldecoa never hesitated in hustling safely all the way to third base.
He drew a futile throw from right fielder Nathan Garcia that sailed over the fence behind third base, and Aldecoa was awarded home plate and El Rancho’s first run that tied the score.
La Serna’s Victor Soto was impressive in defeat. With no offensive support, he limited the Dons to two hits, and struck out five, four of them in the last three innings to help keep the game close and give his team a chance to win.

Baseball and softball playoff pairings will be announced Monday. El Rancho, La Serna and California will represent the Del Rio League in that order.

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605 football additions …

Ray Madrid, El Rancho’s fine wide receiver, has indeed been added to the West team (as per Anonymous’ original post). Apparently former coach Gene Parsons did not respond to the inquiry letter sent by the game administrators that asks for nominations.
New coach Rick Zepeda has remedied that and look for an additional El Rancho player, to be named later, to be added at that time.
Other additions: Warren linebacker Anthony Lopez to the West squad; and Norwalk tackle Uaita Emosi to the East squad; who actually was on the original list but inadvertently omitted from the latest list.

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Coaching year-’round; Good idea or bad?

So the CIF Southern Section has eliminated its “association” rule that restricted the amount of time high school coaches could work with their athletes during the off season, which opens the door for what basically could become year ’round programs.

A down side to this is that some observers feel this will create situations that limit an athlete’s participation to just one sport and force them to specialize because coaches will be able to require more time of them.

An upside is that athletes who want to specialize will be able to spend more time with their coach and, at least theoretically, develope their skills more quickly.
No more assciation restrictions, more freedom to coach.

Good idea, or bad, for coaches and/or student/athletes?

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Do game officials have too much atonomy?

For one of his team’s most important games of the season, California
High School baseball coach Tony Nieto will not be at the Condors’ game
against El Rancho today (Friday).
And it’s not because he’s disinterested in the outcome.
Nieto engaged in a discussion with the plate umpire late in Wednesday’s
Del Rio League encounter with El Rancho, and ultimately was ejected from
the game.
There can be some assumptions offered as to why Nieto was thrown out,
and while not all of the conversation was audible to
onlookers/listeners, it did not appear Nieto’s tone was threatening nor
In fact, he was given the heave-ho while he was returning to his team’s
dugout, apparently for something he said after the umpire felt the
discussion had been terminated.
In any case, the penalty for a player or coach being ejected is that the
person must sit out the team’s next game, whether it be regular season
or post-season playoff.
In Nieto’s situation, it did not appear the umpire had an ax to grind,
or any personal agenda.
That is not always the case.
And therein lies the point to all this.
Game officials rarely are held accountable for their actions. Game over,
they often are seen sprinting to their lockerroom or cars.
Coaches are not supposed to question their authority, their competence
or their performance.
If they do, it most often is considered the sourgrapes of a poor loser
and bad sportsmanship. If the evaluation is made more publicly than just
personally, the coach often receives an official reprimand.
In Nieto’s case, there seemed to be justification for at least
questioning at some level a pair of the umpire’s decisions late in the
game. Nieto didn’t appear to be belligerent in his approach nor animated
in his delivery.
At some point, perhaps a warning would have been in order, but ejection,
at that time in the game, at that point in the season, seems more over
reaction than functional.
Especially when Nieto was walking away.
It would have been more prudent had the umpire merely turned and walked
away, also.

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