Latest sports round-up; girls softball blanked

Lady Wolfpack softball blanked by La Habra, 5-0

Claremont continued its 2013 softball season on Monday after a week off, with newly promoted head coach Vince Hernandez and a young team hoping to get back to winning ways in the Charter Oak Tournament at Big League Dreams West Covina. The Wolfpack struggled to put bat to ball, and their frustration reflected itself in a 5-0 loss to La Habra.

Looking at early season results, it is apparent that Coach Hernandez has turned the team around following a mediocre 6-18 overall campaign for Claremont in 2012,

“We have been solid in the last few games. I have few complaints about out defense, and once our hitting comes around we will be a solid team,”?he said.

Indeed, the Lady Wolfpack won their first 3 games of the season, and came into the game against the La Habra Highlanders with a 4-3 record. However, in the last 5 games the Pack have averaged just over 2 runs. The Highlanders, meanwhile, have had few problems manufacturing runs. La Habra possessed a 5-2 record coming into the Charter Oak Tournament.

Claremont ran into trouble in the bottom of the first inning. With a runner on base, La Habra’s Racquel Manzo lined a base hit into right field, and came all the way in to score after a Wolfpack fielding error. Claremont right-handed hurler Rosalie Keirns settled into the game after this, retiring 8 out of the next 9 hitters. Keirns induced 4 straight ground balls to shortstop Melanie Lauer, who fielded each short-hop with ease.

On the flip side of the coin, Highlander righty Vanessa Ciocatto was almost unhittable. Ciocatto allowed only 3 hits to Wolfpack batters all game, retiring 14 Claremont hitters in a row after allowing a leadoff hit by second baseman Kiana Moreno. Coach Hernandez commented on his team’s lack of offense.

“This is the third game where we have let the other pitcher strike us out at least 6 times. I need to work with the girls more in the cages to get more aggressive at the plate.”

La Habra did not add to the 2-0 lead until the fourth inning. Highlander first baseman Amanda Akles led off the fourth by cracking an outside pitch deep into center field for a double. With one out, La Habra shortstop Taylor Pierce brought Akles home with a RBI single. Moreno ended the inning when she chased down a shallow fly ball, making a nice running catch to her left.

The Highlanders added 2 more runs in the fifth, as Keirns began to show signs of fatigue.

“Rosalie has great stuff, but we need to cut down on the 5 walks if we want to win more games. We also hit a couple of batters today, and that allowed them to score those last runs,” Coach Hernandez noted.

La Habra’s Ciocatto finished the game with an impressive 7 strikeouts, 3 of them by called third strike. Moreno had 2 hits for 3 at-bats, and outfielder Ashley Waller had Claremont’s third hit of the game. The Highlanders produced their 5 runs from 6 base hits and 2 Pack fielding errors.

Coach Hernandez had a number of takeaways from the day.

“We have a really young team, and so my job is to build a new program,”?he said. “I have some ladies that have come back to play for me after taking a year away from softball, so I hope that speaks well for my philosophy of coaching. The girls are a positive group and all they want to do is improve their game.”

Following this tournament, Claremont will have a long break before the next game as spring break is fast approaching. The Wolfpack travel to South Hills on Tuesday, April 9 at 3:30 p.m. for their first league game of the season. This will be Claremont’s barometer game, as the Huskies have only lost 2 of their 9 games thus far.

—Chris Oakley


CHS: Coaches look forward to promising seasons


The Wolfpack have charged forward this season under 15-year head coach Bernie Wendling.

“We have a strong sense of urgency this year to win the Sierra League,” he said. “We are a senior-heavy team.” Claremont boys volleyball finished 11-1 and co-champions last year, falling in the second round of CIF. This year, kill leader Stephen Zetterberg and captain Lane Giammalva hope to repeat as champions, with the help of veterans Stan Reeder and Hunter McIntyre. The Pack finished second in the Mayfair Tournament and third in the Foothill Tournament, and will feature in the Edison Tournament this weekend.



Girls track and field will look to make it 3 Sierra League championships in a row when the season continues this weekend, at the Nicholson Relays in Norco. Jose Ancona is in his sixth year as head coach, and hopes to build a team that takes a systematic approach to meets and practices.

“We want to make sure the athletes are well-prepared for their events. They must make sure to do a proper warm up and cool down, understand the meet schedule, and prepare mentally for what they need to do.”

The Lady Wolfpack won their first 2 meets against La Salle and Arroyo Valley, featuring a dual-threat sprinting and distance racing team.



On the boys side of track and field, longtime head coach Veronica Amarasekara looks to improve on her team’s third place Sierra League finish last season. Coach Amarasekara stressed the importance of staying healthy.

“I want us to have a balanced season, to keep everyone healthy, and to qualify as many athletes to CIF as possible. We had one CIF champion graduate, but we have a number of athletes that hope to emulate him.”

Claremont has 15 captains that help organize and prepare the team for individual success. The Wolfpack are fresh off of a preseason tri-meet and the Claremont Novice Trials for first year athletes, and will race in the Nicholson Relays this weekend.



Claremont boys tennis has brought in a new coach this year to continue its storied program. Clint Rees hopes to bring yet another Sierra League title home by forgoing the rebuilding year Claremont was expected to have.

“I have been experimenting with different doubles combinations, and we have 3 starting freshmen on the team. I am confident we will win another title and do better than the second round CIF loss last year.”

The Wolfpack will look to brothers Alan and Andrew Leahy to sweep their singles matches each time round, and hope to develop at least 2 doubles pairings who have chemistry on the court. Claremont has played 3 preseason matches, and host Palm Springs in a tune-up match before heading into league play next week.


Webb Schools


The Gauls are in pole position to repeat as Prep League Champions in 2013, with Jeff Stodgel in his fifth year as head coach. Webb’s Nick Gollin, Aaron DiGiamarino, and Jordan Veiga will provide experience as the team’s returning stars. The Gauls have started 1-1 on the season, and beat Sacred Heart 12-0 in their last game.



Webb track and field welcomes back coaches John Lawrence and Geoff Owers for their fourth and fifth years, respectively. Coming off of a second place finish last year, the Gauls feature Marcos Lopez, Ricky Gonzales, and Nick Pankratz for the boys team. The Lady Gauls’ key performers will be Alicia Zheng, Miya Wensley, and Mairin Wilson. Boys track beat Montclair 75-67 in the first meet of the season, while the girls were defeated 80-62.



Coach Ken Rosenfeld is in his ninth year at the helm for the Gauls boys and girls teams. The boys team will look to Adrian Hui, Alec Hou, and Wilson Parnell. For the girls team, Shannon Fei, Shannon Torrance, and Maddie Gaumer will lead the Gauls against Prep League opposition. Boys swim and dive beat San Dimas in their first meet of the year 90-84, but the girls fell 81-71.

—Chris Oakley



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