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For Its Secret Service, Camarillo Calls On Edge

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Softball Coach Nichole Victoria is a firm believer that having the right player in the right place at the right time can make a world of difference.

That’s why she will have Kortney Edge batting cleanup for Camarillo High in the Southern Section Division I championship game against Mater Dei tonight at 7:30 at Mayfair Park in Lakewood.

“She hits the ball,” Victoria said. “She’s just like Jessica Ziese at the No. 3 spot. They rarely strike out.”

In its past three playoff games, Camarillo has relied on timely hitting by Edge. The winning run in each game scored as a direct result of something she did at the plate.

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“It’s really surprising,” said Edge, a 5-foot-5 junior who is batting just .226 and has only two hits in her last 12 at-bats.

But when it comes to driving in runs, Edge is at her best. She leads the team with 12 runs batted in.

In a second-round playoff game, Edge drove in two runs in the 12th inning with a single to beat Rio Mesa, 2-1. Two days later, her ground ball in the 10th led to a throwing error that resulted in the Scorpions scoring the winning run in a 1-0 decision over Pacifica.

And in a semifinal, Edge singled up the middle in the fifth inning to drive in the winning run in Camarillo’s 3-1 upset of top-seeded Foothill.

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Those weren’t the first times she has defied the odds. After suffering strained ligaments in her right shoulder in February, Edge thought she might have to sit out the season.

“They were talking about surgery and I didn’t know if I was gonna play at all,” said Edge, a starting outfielder since her freshman year.

But because she was still able to swing a bat, Victoria made her the designated player for the first half of the season.

“It was hard for me to get into the game without being in the field,” Edge said. “But [the coaches] told me that when I recovered I would have a chance to earn back my position.”

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Edge has split time with Sarah DeWoody in right field since midseason. Whether she plays in the field tonight, Edge knows she will be counted on to produce as a hitter.

Although Edge bats cleanup, Victoria and assistant coach Miki Mangan think of her as a secret weapon.

“She’s silent. . . .” Victoria said.

“But deadly,” Mangan added.

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