Taking Sides Is Difficult for Daugherty Family

They have played each other's team several times the past few years, but today the stakes will be higher.

El Toro softball Coach Jim Daugherty and his daughter Colleen, a senior outfielder at Mission Viejo, will be on opposite sides again when the two South Coast League teams meet in the Southern Section 4-A quarterfinals at Mission Viejo.

The Chargers (23-8-1), seeded third in the division, defeated Mission Viejo (12-15) twice in league play this season, both 1-0 games. El Toro won the league title and the Diablos finished tied for third with Irvine.

The experience of having a daughter on the opposing team isn't new for Jim Daugherty. His older daughter, Michele, also played at Mission Viejo. But all the previous games still don't make it easy on the coach when El Toro faces the Diablos.

"It's tough to play against them," Daugherty said. "I hope she gets a base hit but we win the game."

Daugherty said his daughters could have attended El Toro under a Saddleback Unified School District rule that allows children of teachers to enroll at the schools where their parents work, but they chose to remain at Mission Viejo.

The situation has produced some creative measures in the family.

"My wife Kathy has an interesting shirt," Daugherty said. "They took two shirts, a red one (Mission Viejo) and a blue one (El Toro) and sewed it together. Somebody also gave her a pair of earrings, one red and one blue."

And who does Kathy Daugherty pull for in El Toro-Mission Viejo games? Why, both, of course.

"She sits on one side for three innings and on the other side for three innings," Jim Daugherty said, laughing.

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