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Carson Earns Another Chance at Softball Title

From Staff Reports

Of course the question had to be asked, so Coach Joe Sponsler answered it in four words.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

He certainly didn’t mean to answer with such symmetry, but each word could have symbolized a recent season of frustration for the Carson High softball team, which has advanced to the City Section championship the last four seasons and lost.

After defeating Woodland Hills El Camino Real, 5-0, on Tuesday, Carson clinched a fifth consecutive appearance in the City title game, leading to another round of questions about the Colts’ recent championship shortcomings.

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“We’ve talked about it all year, not winning in four years,” Sponsler said. “This team wanted to try it a fifth time.”

Carson (26-5) will play three-time defending champion San Pedro, which defeated Granada Hills, 3-2, in another City Section semifinal at South Gate Park.

The teams played three times this season -- they split in Marine League play and San Pedro defeated Carson in the Downey tournament championship.

The Colts struck early Tuesday against El Camino Real with two runs in the bottom of the second inning and received 11 strikeouts from Danira Ialamo (15-2), who allowed four hits.

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Ashley Esparza (22-1) threw a three-hitter for San Pedro (29-1). Kat Walsh allowed seven hits and had nine strikeouts for Granada Hills (24-6).

In the end, it will be the matchup almost everybody expected to take place next Tuesday at UCLA’s Easton Stadium.

-- Mike Bresnahan

Jason D’Amore of Manhattan Beach Mira Costa made six birdies and three bogies in shooting three-under 68 at Sterling Hills golf course in Camarillo and was medalist in the Southern Section boys’ golf individual Northern Regional playoff.

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Kyle Dowden of Camarillo, runner-up in the Southern Section finals last year, overcame a bogey-bogey start and finished tied for second with Ben Fox of North Hollywood Oakwood, a stroke behind D’Amore. Fox attends a school that doesn’t have a golf team and had to qualify through a freelance tournament.

Tied at 70 were Kevin Larsen of Santa Barbara San Marcos, Brandon Beck of Oak Park and Nick Sanchez of Temple City.

The top 24 finishers advance to the section finals May 27 at Canyon Country Club in Palm Springs. Chris Satterlee of Santa Barbara Bishop Diego and Jeremy Bovill of Agoura won a five-way playoff for the final two spots.

In the Southern Regional, Daniel Im of La Mirada shot two-under 70 to lead the qualifiers at Black Gold Golf Club in Yorba Linda. Im finished a shot in front of Rory Hie of Cerritos and Garrett Sapp of Cerritos Gahr.

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Chad Blakney of Anaheim Canyon, Paul Imondi of Orange Lutheran and Derek Sipe of Anaheim Esperanza each shot 72. The cut to make the section finals fell at three-over 75.

-- Peter Yoon


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