Hartnell Mixes In Big Hit for West

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Juli Hartnell of Cornerstone Christian High is best known for her pitching.

But the hard-throwing Hartnell, who as a freshman pitched the Eagles to a Southern Section Division VI title in 1998, did the job outside the circle Thursday.

Hartnell hit a run-scoring single in the third inning to give the West a 1-0 victory over the East in the Ventura County Coaches Assn. senior all-star game at Borchard Park in Newbury Park.

"I was a bit surprised," Hartnell said. "I'm not used to being the hitter."

For Hartnell, who is headed to Indiana University Purdue University at Indianapolis on a softball scholarship, hard work is paying off.

"I don't normally hit for my travel team, but I've been hitting for high school and gradually trying to work my way into that travel team lineup," said Hartnell, who plays for 18-and-under Gold Division Flash D'Gold of San Dimas.

Hartnell, a right-hander representing a school with an enrollment under 100, started for the West and allowed three hits while striking out one in two innings.

Power hitter Chrissy Hildebrandt of Rio Mesa led off the first for the East with a sneaky bunt for a single, surprising the defense, but not Hartnell.

"I've known Juli for the past seven years since I started playing," Hildebrandt said. "I always pick on her. After the game [she said], 'Chrissy, I hate it when you do those little bunts on me.' [But] they were playing back on me so [I bunted]."

Katie Stokx of Newbury Park followed with a single up the middle. But Hartnell retired the next three batters on a fly ball and two ground outs to shortstop.

In the third, Francesca Magana of Oxnard led off with a triple when center fielder Stefanie Schneider of Buena fell while going back for the fly ball.

After a ground out, Hartnell ripped a 1-and-1 pitch up the middle to score Magana.

"It was pretty cool," Hartnell said. "I was like, 'Hey, I hit it.' "

The East managed only two hits off Nicole Angelo of Thousand Oaks and Jalena Martinez of Santa Paula in the final five innings.

The West was kept quiet in the final innings by Stokx, who struck out nine and allowed only one hit in the final four innings.

Monica Thompson of La Reina singled off Martinez to lead off the East seventh and stole second. After Jenn Dilley of Newbury Park lined out to shortstop Tiffany Monzo of Cornerstone Christian, Thompson took third on a ground out by Jessica Cabasug of Buena.

Martinez, co-most valuable player of the Frontier League, struck out Michelle Newbold of Agoura to end the game.

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