Taylor a striking figure for Valencia
by Gerry Gittelson
05/28/2006 12:00:00 AM PDT
Just 11 strikeouts shy of the Daily News coverage-area single-season strikeout record, Valencia High softball ace Jordan Taylor struck out 19 in her final appearance of the season Thursday to boost the junior's total to 435 - but it won't count.
The performance came against Valencia's baseball team in a just-for-fun seven-inning scrimmage, so Newbury Park's Sandy Otgies' 1983 record of 427 is safe for at least one more season.
The baseball team won 3-1 but managed just two hits - and Taylor certainly made her point.
"I'll give it to her. She's good - but not good enough to beat the boys, though," said Justin Shults, who pitched 6<MD+,%30,%55,%70>2/<MD-,%0,%55,%70>3 innings to earn the victory, then re-entered for the final out to also earn the save.
Two days earlier, both teams were eliminated in upset losses in the second round of the Southern Section Div. I playoffs. The top-seeded softball team (27-5) fell 3-2 at Bishop Amat of La Puente, and the third-seeded baseball team (25-4) lost 4-3 in 12 innings at Agoura.
"The baseball team did a lot of talking but Jordan had a lot of strikeouts," Valencia's Alyssa Garza said. "They couldn't touch her. They just got lucky. It happens."
Both seemed to be enjoying themselves, but there was little doubt the exhibition was a competitive venture that both teams badly wanted to win.
"This has been planned for about two weeks and the girls were talking a lot of smack, so we were like, `OK, bring it,"' said Casey Mulligan, the baseball team's four-year standout who has committed to Cal State Fullerton.
"I would have had a shutout except it was Casey's error that allowed them to score a run," Shults said with smile.
USC is the latest to offer Valencia junior running back Shane Vereen a football scholarship, as the Trojans have put their name on a growing list of major colleges bidding for the services of perhaps the Foothill League's most prized recruit since Kyle Boller.
USC coach Pete Carroll visited Vereen during spring workouts Wednesday and was blown away.
"USC had actually offered a couple of weeks ago but once Pete saw Shane in person, I think he liked him even better," Valencia coach Larry Muir said. "Shane's the real deal but he didn't commit because he's still going through the process."
Vereen has a shoebox filled with official offers. Every Pacific-10 Conference university except Arizona State and Oregon State have offered, along with Nebraska, BYU, Northwestern, Colorado and others.
"I've stopped trying to figure out who's offered and who hasn't because Shane has so many," Muir said.
Vereen rushed for 1,650 yards,
caught 52 passes and accounted for 35 touchdowns this season to carry Valencia (9-4) to the Southern Section Div. II semifinals.
See more at Daily News
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