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ATHLETE OF THE WEEK : When Hart’s Weil Takes the Hill, It’s Zero Hour for the Opposition

<i> Times Staff Writer </i>

Kym Weil might be the best high school softball pitcher in Southern California.

Just ask her father.

On second thought, don’t ask her father. Al Weil is Kym’s coach at Hart High, and like any doting dad of an only daughter--and coach of an ace windmill whipper--he is very proud, yet very humble.

“She’s the only daughter I have,” Al Weil said. “I’m very proud.”

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For an objective opinion of Weil’s pitching merits, try Don Sarno, her personal coach.

Sarno, a member of the International Softball Congress Hall of Fame and “pitching consultant” for about 20 Division I schools, insists that Weil, though only a junior, can plan to accept a Division I scholarship next year.

“I think Kym’s one of the top 10 pitchers in Southern California,” Sarno said. “Effectively, that means the whole country.”

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Well, Weil certainly holds her own. In her third season, she is 14-1 with 11 shutouts, including six in a row to start the season. Weil has three no-hitters, including two perfect games.

Weil pitched her second perfect game Tuesday, striking out 15 as Hart blanked San Gabriel, 4-0. She also pitched a perfect game against El Camino Real, the defending City Section 4-A Division champion. Her only loss was to Righetti, which scored an unearned run in the sixth inning to defeat Hart, 1-0, in the championship game of the Righetti tournament.

On Thursday, Weil whipped Schurr, 5-0, pitching a no-hitter with 13 strikeouts. Two days earlier, Weil yielded five hits in a 7-0 win over Burbank. Hart is 16-1 overall and leads the Foothill League with a 3-0 record.

Weil has struck out 178 of the 332 batters she has faced and walked just eight. Most impressive, however, is Weil’s earned-run average. She doesn’t have one.

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Through 100 innings, Weil has not allowed an earned run.

“Maybe,” Weil says, trying to explain her scoreless streak, “all of us are working together.

“I really don’t know. It’s weird. It’s great.”

It’s Weil. Last season, her ERA was 0.30, her freshman year, 0.89. Weil’s career record is 49-13 with 566 strikeouts in 395 innings. This season, she recorded four shutouts in the Hart tournament, notching 60 strikeouts in 27 innings. And, of course, zero earned runs.

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“That streak is going to end sometime,” Al Weil said. “And I’ve talked to Kym about it and she knows that. But she knows if she gives up a run and we win, that’s all that’s important.”

Weil attributes her success to working with Sarno and former Hart Coach Dennis Ford, the father of UCLA pitcher Samantha Ford, who pitched at Hart from 1982-85 and posted a 0.00 ERA and 18 shutouts in 1984.

“She has just developed a work ethic you wouldn’t believe,” Ford said. “She does aerobics and lifts weights. She has improved so much.”


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