Notebook / Alan Drooz : Banning Girls Softball Team Lost, but Every Eye Was Dry
Don’t feel too sorry for the Banning High girls softball team, whose season came to a close last week with a 3-0 loss to El Camino Real of the San Fernando Valley in the City 4-A championship.
The Pilots finished the season 21-4. When the game ended Coach Carol Cox told the team, “No tears today, ladies. We had a heck of a good season.” Indeed, instead of crying the girls broke out club soda that was on tap for a celebration and doused themselves, their opponents and Cox in bubbles.
Star pitcher Lisa Bautista, who carried 17 no-hitters into the game and has become something of a celebrity in the harbor area, was shelled for the first time all season, giving up four hits, two wild pitches and all three runs in the first inning. After that she settled down and El Camino got only one more solid hit.
Bautista admitted, “I was nervous.”
Cox said, “We had the first-inning blues. After the first inning they didn’t beat us.”
Ironically, Bautista, who was presented flowers by her opponents after the game, will be playing for a San Fernando Valley team this summer in Sepulveda where some of her teammates will be El Camino players.
Bautista will continue her career at the University of Arizona.
Cox hopes to be back in the finals next year. She said she has been grooming a pitcher to replace Bautista, and among those returning next season is standout southpaw shortstop Lorraine Maynez, deemed “my kamikaze player” by Cox.
“I’m sorry we didn’t win,” Cox said. “But I’m not sorry for the season. We had a great season.”
The excitement for the National Basketball Assn. draft was palpable in New York, where the draft was held and the hometown Knicks had the first choice, and even in Indianapolis, which had the second choice and threw a party attended by several thousand.
But the mood at the Forum in Inglewood, home of the newly crowned champion Lakers, was businesslike Tuesday as the Lakers awaited the 23rd selection. With five minutes between selections, Lakers officials and reporters waited nearly two hours as draftees were announced over the television and the Lakers finally chose A. C. Green of Oregon State.
One television cameraman, obviously not very concerned with what college stars went where, said, “This is as bad as election night. It’s like waiting for election returns.”
When Green was finally chosen, Lakers General Manager Jerry West entered the press room and the cameramen got to go to work. Then it was Coach Pat Riley’s turn to go before the lights to say all the right things (“A. C. fits our running style. . . . We’re very happy to have a shot at an athlete like A. C.,” etc.), then it was off to the next fire or car crash for the cameras. West, Riley and the rest of the Lakers brain trust returned to the conference room to follow the draft to its seven-round conclusion.
Since they didn’t have another pick until late in the fourth round, it figured to be a long day.
Business was better just outside the Forum, where salesmen were dealing official Lakers T-shirts and souvenirs.
At least somebody could rest on the Lakers’ laurels.
Cal State Dominguez Hills basketball Coach Dave Yanai, who has made his mark in the California Collegiate Athletic Assn., is now making his mark in Japan as well.
Yanai will make his second trip in two years to Japan to conduct clinics this month in conjunction with the World Kirin Games, an international four-team tournament.
Yanai will conduct two-hour clinics in Tokyo, Okayama, Nagasaki, Fukuoka, Kyoto and Yakaichi before basketball double-headers featuring the national teams from Japan, the Soviet Union, the Netherlands and Indiana University. Yanai will conduct the clinics with Indiana Coach Bob Knight and former Olympic and UC Berkeley Coach Pete Newell.
Yanai, who has an eight-year record of 123-86 at Dominguez Hills, went to Japan in April, 1984, to work with the Japanese Olympic team. He was selected by Newell, an adviser to the Japan Amateur Basketball Assn.
The games are scheduled for June 27 through July 9.