3 Area Junior College Teams to Start Playoffs in Softball


With most of the battles behind them but some royal rumbles ahead, the softball teams at Antelope Valley, Canyons and Moorpark colleges head for today’s start of the Southern California regional playoffs hoping to extend their seasons.

Four regional double-elimination tournaments with four teams each will launch the first round of the playoffs that conclude Saturday. The four bracket winners will advance to the eight-team state championships May 21-23 at the Riverside Sports Complex.

Antelope Valley, the Foothill Conference champion, will play host to bracket No. 3 at McAdams Park in Palmdale. The Marauders (39-8), seeded No. 3 in Southern California, will meet No. 14 Pasadena City (15-15) at noon. No. 6 Orange Coast (23-13) and No. 11 Desert (18-13) also are in the bracket.


Moorpark, the Western State Conference co-champion with Canyons, is seeded eighth. The Raiders (17-14) will open tonight at 6 against No. 9 Mt. San Antonio (17-14) in bracket No. 1 at Palomar College.

Canyons (17-8) is seeded 10th and will play in bracket No. 2 at Cypress College. The Cougars will face No. 7 San Diego Mesa (18-15) today at 2.

Both Canyons and Moorpark are in difficult draws--at least on paper. Moorpark’s group is headed by No. 1 Palomar (43-4), one of the favorites to win the state tournament. No. 2 Cypress (44-18) heads Canyons’ bracket. Antelope Valley, however, has a potentially easier draw, a fact not lost on Coach Gene Pagliaro, Foothill Conference and the Southern California coach of the year.

“I told the girls not to take anybody lightly and we should come out real well in this tournament,” he said.

Antelope Valley right-handers Angie LePage (22-4, 0.87 earned-run average) and Heather Meyer (16-4, 0.68), have been dominant all season.

Moorpark will be without Coach Will Thurston, who is recuperating after fainting at a Dodger game May 2. Thurston said doctors are still running tests to determine the cause.


The Raiders, who won a playoff against Canyons to determine the No. 1 representative from the WSC after the teams tied at 8-2, will be coached by assistants De Dow and Darrell Fitzpatrick.

Heather Santiago (5-3, 1.92 ERA) will start today.

Canyons has played most of the season with only one pitcher, but Coach Ray Whitten believes that right-hander Melanie Howard (7-2, 0.56 ERA and only two walks in 63 innings in conference play) can help the Cougars challenge.