PREP NOTES WITH A TWIST

In two softball state record updates, one recent game featured a pair of pitchers who both struck out 27 batters while University City's Lisa Dodd fell one hit short of all-time mark. Click here for more on DeMarcus Nelson's transfer and additional items from track, baseball, and boys basketball.

•0-0 After 18 Innings: Borchard Park in Thousand Oaks was the scene of a memorable softball pitching showdown on April 1 between Mandy Kilionski of Thousand Oaks High and Danielle Ellement of Newbury Park.

Kilionski struck out 27 batters in 18 innings of work and didn't allow a run. The only problem was that Ellement did exactly the same thing. So after 18 innings and more than four hours, the two coaches agreed to call it. Kilionski allowed 12 hits and walked one in addition to her 27 strikeouts. Ellement allowed fewer hits (10), but walked four.

Based on information in our own state record book and on some research by the L.A. Times' Eric Maddy, it was just the third time in state history that both pitchers have struck out at least 27 in a game.

The most memorable such pitching duel in state history, of course, is the marathon playoff game from 1986 between DeDe Weiman of Cerritos Gahr and Lisa Fernandez of Lakewood St. Joseph. Weiman struck out 53 in the 29-inning game that took two days to play, but her team lost, 1-0, as Fernandez finished with 48 strikeouts.

Then in a 1988 playoff game, Michelle Granger of Placentia Valencia struck out 40 in a loss to La Mirada as La Mirada's Dena Mullins fanned 28.

In the game in which Alicia Hollowell of Fairfield struck out 61 in one game two years ago to set the single game national and state record, Woodland's Kelly Anderson had 23 strikeouts.

It's interesting to note that Hollowell, Weiman and Granger all lost in their games in which they had the huge strikeout totals. So maybe Kilionski and Ellement should be glad their game was called because whoever had the most strikeouts probably would have been on the losing team.

Dodd just misses hit streak record: Lisa Dodd from University City of San Diego probably didn't know it when she lined out to third base during a game last Sturday against La Costa Canyon, but she just missed tying a state record.

Dodd had a 16-for-16 streak of getting hits broken with the liner. The state record of 17 straight hits in 17 straight official at-bats was set in 1995 by Selina Fine from Redondo of Redondo Beach. Fine also had a streak of getting on base in 22 straight at-bats. Dodd's out ended her streak of getting on base at 19. She also had three intentional walks in addition to the 16 straight hits.

The UCLA-bound senior went 2-for-4 in that game, which gave her a mark of 17-for-19 in her previous six games combined. Dodd had five homers during that streak and started this week hitting .596.

Although Dodd took the loss to La Costa Canyon, she didn't give up an earned run. In 57 innings so far this year, Dodd has allowed one earned run and has 82 strikeouts.

•Perfect Pacifica No More: That loss by the Garden Grove Pacifica softball team to Santiago of Corona in the championship game of the Foothill Tournament also was the first loss in varsity baseball OR softball for the Mariners in 2003. In softball, coach Rob Weil's team was 14-0 before finally falling. In baseball, Pacifica started this week with a perfect 12-0 record. The Mariners play in the same league as the state's No. 1 baseball team, La Quinta of Westminster.

•A Bit Short of 56: Nick Corbin of Maxwell had his hitting streak end at 42. He had a hit against Cascade on Friday, but was 0-for-3 with three flyball outs in a 7-5 loss to Pierce in the first game of the Maxwell Tournament on Saturday. He went 2-for-3 the following game. He has gone hitless in only two games in his career.

•Some sad news to update: Petaluma baseball coach Dan Fager collapsed and died March 10 while jogging. The team is being co-coached by Matt Schaffert and Kyle Manford, who took over for Fager. We were also saddened to learn earlier this week that Carol Norford, the wife of Long Beach Poly track coach Don Norford, had died from complications of a heart attack and stroke. Carol and Don were married for 37 years and she's survived by three children. She was always easy to talk to at the various track meets we've covered over the years. The Poly track tent will never be the same.

•Skyin' Ryan: It's not all bad news at Garces High of Bakersfield. The Rams were recently rocked by the transfer of standout junior basketball player Robert Swift to Highland, but last week it had to be great to see that another basketball player, senior Zach Ryan, was able to clear 7-0 in the high jump. Ryan became just the eighth high jumper in Central Section history to go over the 7-0 mark. He did it last Thursday at the small school portion of the Fresno Relays.

•DeMarcus Departs: DeMarcus Nelson, who was named the State Junior Player of the Year by us in boys basketball after averaging 33 points per game for Vallejo, has checked into Sheldon High of Sacramento. The 6-3 guard's family said the reason for the switch was to move into a more affordable, safer home. And if you've ever been in the Laguna/Elk Grove area of town and have checked out the schools in Elk Grove Unified, you'd know that the Nelsons aren't just feeding a line to the media. DeMarcus also will be playing for a school that does not figure to be as strong, from a basketball standpoint, as Vallejo would have been. Nelson was reportedly transferring from Vallejo to St. Mary's of Berkeley following his freshman season, but later the family decided he'd stay.

•"Red" Orangemen: One of the main assistant coaches under Jim Boeheim at Syracuse, which earlier this week won the NCAA championship with a victory over Kansas, is former Mater Dei of Santa Ana player Mike Hopkins. In his eighth season, Hopkins was on Mater Dei's 1987 CIF Div. I state championship team and then played collegiately at Syracuse. Also on the staff at Syracuse is graduate assistant coach Clay McKnight. He's the son of Mater Dei coach Gary McKnight, who also was the former coach of Hopkins.

•Woodcreek Clarification: The Woodcreek of Roseville boys basketball program did have a 47-game losing streak not that long ago, but the Timberwolves did not start out 0-47. In its first season, in 1995-96, Woodcreek was 2-25. The Timberwolves were 2-25 again in 1996-97 and 0-28 in 1997-98 before beginning the turnaround under coach Paul Hayes in 1998-99. The team broke its 47-game losing streak in the opener of that season with a 53-50 victory over Bella Vista of Fair Oaks.

•Surprising Records: In addition to scouring all of our sources for baseball and softball teams with outstanding won-loss records, a few programs that have started off struggling also are notable. Last year's No. 1 baseball team, Bishop Amat of La Puente, started this week 0-4 in its league while perennial power Esperanza of Anaheim was 0-5. In softball, Foothill of Tustin has played a murderous schedule, but it's still a shock to any team coached by Joe Gonzalez sitting at 7-11 overall.

•All-Namer:Finally, from the all-name front, here's a pitcher who better be a morning person: Palm Desert High's Brighton Early.


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