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SUNSET LEAGUE

Edison

Coach: Suzy Mathieson

1999 record: 11-17

League record: 5-4

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The Chargers have shown steady improvement under Suzy Mathieson (fourth year, 31-43). They lost only one player from last year’s squad, are experienced, have good chemistry and team speed. If they can avoid beating themselves, which was a problem last year, they could pull another surprise or two. Junior pitcher Kelly Birk (7-14, 0.94 ERA) has twice been a first-team all-league player, and senior second baseman Hillary Hamilton (.289) and sophomore right fielder Leah Glenn (.259) were second-team choices last season. Junior outfielder Scarlett Neal (.299) should contribute offensively.

Esperanza

Coach: Dennis Fox

1999 record: 12-13

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League record: 3-7

With freshman Kristen Dedmon, who pitched a 12-and-under team to an ASA national title two years ago, joining senior Jamie Van Keirsbelk, the Aztecs are pitching-rich. First baseman/catcher Melissa Fox, shortstop Jennifer Coffey (first team all-league) and center fielder Katie Louwsma, all seniors, return along with sophomore catcher Heather Rangel, a second-team all-league pick last year. Second baseman Diana Eberlein, a sophomore, will bat leadoff for a very optimistic Dennis Fox (third year, 24-25).

Fountain Valley

Coach: Cary Baker

1999 record: 24-8

League record: 9-1

Eight starters are back for Cary Baker (18th year, 328-156-2), whose team reached the Division I semifinals. All-county pitcher Natalie King (12-5, 0.46) will pitch more because Colleen Burdick (12-3, 0.57) had shoulder surgery. Third baseman Tiffani Miller (.260), a first-team all-league player, and three second-team players, junior shortstop/center fielder Jenny Doezie (.257), injured senior shortstop Nicole Rambis (knee) and sophomore outfielder Christina Skaggs (.322), provide pop in the lineup.

Huntington Beach

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Coach: Jack Lipscomb

1999 record: 1-9

League record: 9-17

First-year coach Jack Lipscomb believes his Oilers are contenders. Pitcher Ashley Perkins (4-10, 0.80) returns and figures to split pitching duties with another junior, Tiffany Brown. The Oilers have only one senior, shortstop Danielle Stilwell, amid seven starters who include juniors Lindy Lipscomb (second base) and Lindsay Ratowsky (outfield) and sophomores Kari Stockstill (third base) and Heidi Weil (catcher).

Los Alamitos

Coach: Renee Bergeron

1999 record: 13-14

League record: 5-5

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Renee Bergeron replaces Jami Shannon, who was fired after 21 seasons. Left behind was a deep talent pool, led by speedy two-time all-county center fielder Kristin Farber (.457, 22 runs, 19 stolen bases) and second-team all-county shortstop Phelan Wright (.404, five home runs, 28 RBIs). Also back are first baseman Darcey Brown, who signed with Long Beach State, and junior outfielder Marissa Hearn, a first-team all-leaguer.

Marina

Coach: Shelly Luth

1999 record: 21-10

League record: 8-2

Shelly Luth (10th year, 183-67-2) and her team hope to again contend for the title. The Vikings return one of the league’s co-most valuable players, Carrie Hagen. Hagen, a junior third baseman, and Christina Klinzing head a group of seven returning starters. Klinzing, a senior center fielder, was also a first-team all-league selection. Pitchers Brooke Crouch, a junior, and Bree Boyer, a sophomore, and senior first baseman Steffany Stenglein were second-team all-league choices, though Crouch had off-season knee surgery. Hagen, junior second baseman Heather Saltarelli and freshman Ramona Garcia provide plenty of speed.


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