A pitch for the nationals
Publication Date: Friday Jul 18, 1997

YOUTH SOFTBALL: A pitch for the nationals

Palo Alto Bobby Sox teams head for Salinas and qualifying tournament

A weekend in Salinas make not sound very exciting, but it could very well turn out that way for three Palo Alto Bobby Sox softball teams.

All three will be in Salinas this weekend for a national-qualifying tournament, with the winners advancing to the national finals in Buena Park beginning Aug. 15.

For those who don't win, there will be a second-chance tournament that runs Aug. 2-4, with the top teams advancing.

Palo Alto, which sent two teams to last year's national tourney in Riverside, hopes for similar results from this season's entries in the qualifier.

In Salinas will be Palo Alto's Division 3A 14-under squad, a Division 2A 12-under team and a Division 1A 10-under unit. All three will play at the Bobby Sox Softball four-field complex at Gavilan View School beginning Saturday. Opening ceremonies kick off the first day's activities at 9 a.m.

The 1A 10-under team, in its first season of all-star competition, makes its postseason debut against Oakland at 11 a.m. The team consists of Brianna Clay, Jalysa Clay, Maggie Cole, Sarah Collins, Emira Cowan, Kelly Fangonilo, Ashley Gardiner, Emma Hara, Tiffany Hawes, Charlotte Hebert, Kathy Nolan and Natalie Popovich. The manager is Jeannie Popovich, and the coaches are Perry Popovich, Edward Clay and George Fangonilo.

The 2A team will open against San Leandro at 11 a.m. The squad consists of Katy Alexander, Allison Ara, Katie Bennett, Colleen Carey, Deanna Carey, Elizabeth Hayashida, Lillian Pickering, Chelsea Taylor, Rayshanna Williams, Leah Willis, Chevelle Wiseman, and Mikala Wood. The manager is Katrina Edwards, and the coaches are Paul Alexander and Theresa Carey.

The 3A squad will play its Oakland counterpart at 1 p.m. The team roster includes Jenny Blake, Kristina Kennedy, Katy Lambert, Denise Law, Laura Lessard, Marcie Lessard, Sarah Marquess, Jennifer Rea, Jillian Schaefer, Kristina Simons, Rebecca Ting and Sarah Ting. The manager is Jackie Kennedy, and the coaches are Carl Wiseman, Rick Lambert and Jack Marquess.

All three teams hope to reach Sunday's games of the double-elimination tournament.

Menlo-Atherton High's Kelly Walker pitched the Menlo Rockets to their first win of the season in the San Mateo County 18-under summer fastpitch softball league.

The M-A junior hurled a two-hitter and struck out nine to lead the Rockets to a 13-2 victory over Buena Vista of San Francisco. Sara Gong produced a two-run single and Cheryl Nicholson added an RBI single in the fifth for the Rockets.

--Keith Peters 

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