Los Angeles Preps: Lauren Cox

La Canada's Lauren Cox strikes out 20

May, 24, 2012
Lauren CoxTim Haddock/For ESPNLA.comLa Canada pitcher Lauren Cox continued her dominant season in a quarterfinal playoff win.

La Canada pitcher Lauren Cox struck out 20 batters and tossed a one-hit, 7-0, shutout against Mary Star of the Sea in the quarterfinals of the CIF-Southern Section Division 5 softball playoffs on Thursday.

La Canada coach KC Mathews said he was not sure if Cox’s 20-strikeout performance was a school record, but he can’t imagine a pitcher striking out 21 batters in a seven-inning game.

“It’s her personal best,” Mathews said. “I don’t think we’ve ever come close to 20 strikeouts.”

Cox walked three and hit one batter.

Selina Mohr went 3-for-4 and reached on an error. She scored three runs for La Canada. Katy Lee had two hits, walked twice and scored two runs. She drove in a run on a squeeze bunt.

Catherine Horner was 2-for-5 with a double and scored a run.

Jessica Ogden drove in two runs with a double in the first inning.

La Canada will play Nipomo in the semifinals at La Canada High on Tuesday.

The La Canada softball team is the No. 1 team in the CIF Southern Section Division 5 playoffs, but coach K.C. Mathews said he isn’t too concerned about rankings in the middle of May.

“We talk about setting goals and we want to be playing late in May,” Mathews said. “Our goal is to be playing softball in June. We want to come out and play the best softball we can each and every day.”

La Canada will play the winner of the wild-card game between Lompoc and Gladstone.

With senior Lauren Cox in the circle, the Spartans (21-4-1) have been nearly unbeatable. Cox (19-3) has 15 shutouts, a 0.63 ERA and 254 strikeouts in 156 1/3 innings. Teams are hitting .099 against her.

“The pitching that we have, we have a chance against everybody,” Mathews said. “Our lineup, somebody different is getting it done every game.”

La Canada is hitting .312 as a team. Catcher Catherine Horner and infielder Alyssa Stolmack lead the team with four home runs apiece. Horner is hitting .450 with 28 RBIs. Stolmack, who has a 2-1 record as a pitcher, is hitting .305 with 17 RBIs.

Annie Monroe is batting .349 with nine stolen bases and has scored 17 runs.

In the Division 1 softball playoffs, Norco earned the top seed.

West Ranch, the Foothill League champion, is the No. 7 team in the Division 1 poll and opens the playoffs against El Modena on Thursday.

Simi Valley opens playoffs against the winner of the wild-card game between Riverside Poly and Foothill.

Saugus plays La Palma Kennedy in the first round.

In the Division 2 playoffs, Mission Viejo is the No. 1 seed. Camarillo is the No. 2 seed and will play the winner of the wild-card game between Diamond Bar and Rialto.

Click here for the rest of the CIF Southern Section softball playoff brackets.

La Canada softball pitchers combine on no-hitter

May, 8, 2012

TEMPLE CITY -- The right arm of Lauren Cox has been carrying the La Canada softball team all season. Cox and Alyssa Stolmack combined on a no-hitter against Temple City and won the Rio Hondo League championship at Temple City High School on Monday.

Cox started the game, went five innings and walked only one batter. Her catcher, Catherine Horner, provided the pop with a two-run home run and the Spartans shut out Temple City, 7-0.

“We know we don’t have to get Lauren too many runs,” La Canada coach K.C. Mathews said. “She’s been fantastic in the circle all year long. She does a tremendous job. Our pitching has been our strength.”

Cox wasn’t necessarily dominate -- she struck out only four batters -- but retired the first 11 batters she faced. The only player to reach base against her was Kristin Hudak with a two-out walk in the fourth inning.

Stolmack relieved Cox in the sixth inning and pitched two perfect innings to complete the no-hitter. She also added some sock at the plate, hitting a solo home run in the seventh inning.

“She’s strong. She’s got strong legs,” Mathews said. “When she gets a hold of one, it’s going to go.”

Horner hit a two-run home run that bounced off the top of the fence in left field in the fifth inning to give La Canada a 5-0 lead.

La Canada (19-4-1), the top-ranked team in the CIF Southern Section Division 5 poll, scored one run in the first inning and two more in the second inning to give Cox an early 3-0 lead. The only drawback in the game for La Canada was that the team left nine runners on base.

“We just kept nibbling and nibbling and didn’t take advantage of all our opportunities,” Mathews said. “We left quite a few runners on base. If we don’t clean that up a little bit in the playoffs, it’s going to hurt.”

Temple City (6-17) dropped to 2-7 in Rio Hondo League play.