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Indians, Wildcats reach semis

Posted: March 8, 2009 3:14 a.m.
Updated: March 8, 2009 4:55 a.m.
 
After a mere five wins one year ago, West Ranch softball opened the 2009 season with two straight as Canyon, Hart, Golden Valley and the Wildcats joined 12 other teams Saturday for the first day of games in the Hart Classic Softball Tournament at Central Park in Saugus.

Thanks to dominant pitching, Hart, Canyon and West Ranch all got early wins.

While the league has become accustomed to yearly productivity from Indians pitcher Destiny Rodino, it was the Wildcats’ Shayna Medoff who made the biggest impact for her team.

After breezing through Newbury Park 6-1 earlier in the day, Medoff pulled her team out of late jams and won a 1-0 pitcher’s duel over Calabasas High.

West Ranch’s Bryanna De La Torre stretched a single into a run-scoring play after the Coyotes’ right fielder mishandled the ball to lead off the game.

It was all Medoff would need, throwing seven strong innings with seven strikeouts, giving up only four hits and two walks.

“I’m real proud of the way they are playing,” said Wildcats head coach Bob Shults. “They are right where I want them to be.”

Joining West Ranch (2-0) in the semifinals are the Indians (2-0).

Scoring an early 5-0 win against Chatsworth, Hart rolled over Chaminade of West Hills 8-0 in its second game of the day.

The Indians posted five runs in the first inning against the Eagles (1-1).

Rodino proceeded to shutdown batter after batter before relinquishing the ball to Taylor Britt for the fifth and final inning.

Over the two games, Rodino pitched 10 innings with 15 strikeouts, giving up only one hit.

Hart got consistent pitching combined with strong hitting from Devon Lindvall, Brenna Carlson, Jessica Shults and Heather Stiglich.

“If they keeping working hard, they’ll do well,” said Indians head coach Steve Calendo, no stranger to early season success.

However, stellar pitching was not reserved to West Ranch and Hart as Leanne Hill pitched a gem for the Cowboys (1-1) in their 11-0 rout of Arleta to start the day.

Hill threw six innings with nine strikeouts and gave up only one hit.

Offensively, Brittany Williams hit two home runs with six RBIs, while Jenny Wunderlich went 4-for-4 and Courtney Ziese finished 2-for-3 in the game.

However, Canyon ran into a tough Agoura team, falling 7-0 in its second game.

“The score was no indication of how the game was,” said Cowboys head coach Mike Rego. “Just a few bad innings. ... This is a great group of girls. We are going to do well this year.”

Despite the score, Rego noted his pride in freshman pitcher Hayley Bottino, who struck out two batters in the outing.

Also throwing a freshman pitcher was Golden Valley, which dropped both games.

The Grizzlies (0-2) could not get anything going offensively, posting a 7-0 loss to Alemany of Mission Hills and falling 3-0 to Moorpark.

Without any run support, the young Alexandrea Martinez was no match for the Warriors (2-0) and Musketeers (1-1), respectively.

“(The tournament is) letting them see the level we need to reach, so when we get to league we can be competitive,” said Golden Valley head coach Courtney Carr.

The Grizzlies were without starter Brianna Melero, who dislocated her shoulder in a scrimmage earlier in the week.
Action continues on Saturday when Golden Valley takes on Arleta at 9 a.m. and Canyon takes on Highland of Palmdale at 11 a.m., both consolation games.

In the semifinal round, West Ranch plays Agoura (2-0) and Hart plays Alemany, both at 11 a.m.

If the Wildcats and Indians win, the two Foothill League squads could square off in the championship game at 3 p.m.

pputignano@the-signal.com

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