Douglass Hurt, Out of All-Star Game

A serious neck injury will keep Rio Mesa High catcher Debbie Douglass from playing tonight in her dream game, the Ventura County Coaches Assn. All-Star softball game.

But after suffering torn ligaments in her neck in a violent fall May 28, Douglass said she is fortunate to be able to walk.

"The doctors said I was really lucky," said Douglass, who must wear a neck brace for three months. "I could have easily broken my neck and been paralyzed."

Douglass, a senior who will attend USC--which does not have a softball program-- had a big season for the Spartans. She batted .400 with eight doubles and 19 runs batted in.

"I've been wanting to play in the game for four years," she said. "[Not playing] is one of the first things I thought of when I came out of the hospital. I just want to be out there so bad."

Newbury Park catcher Mandy Kinningham also will miss the game. She has a possible broken finger in her throwing hand.

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