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SCV's stellar softball alumni

Posted: April 15, 2014 10:10 p.m.
Updated: April 15, 2014 10:10 p.m.

Oregon's Janelle Lindvall, a West Ranch High graduate, hits prepares to hit the ball against Oregon State on Saturday in Corvallis, Ore.

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No one knows exactly which eight teams will make their way to Oklahoma City for the 2014 NCAA Women’s College World Series.

But the odds are pretty good for five Santa Clarita Valley softball veterans.

West Ranch graduate and Oregon catcher Janelle Lindvall, Valencia graduate and Tennessee shortstop Madison Shipman, fellow former Viking and Arizona State first baseman Bethany Kemp, Canyon graduate and Oklahoma outfielder Brittany Williams, and Golden Valley graduate and Auburn outfielder Branndi Melero all find themselves contributing heavily to top-ranked squads.

Leading the pack in the rankings is Lindvall and her Oregon Ducks, who knocked off UCLA last week to become the top-ranked team in the nation — the first time Oregon has stood atop the USA Today/National Fastpitch Coaches Association poll.

Lindvall, who graduated from West Ranch in 2012, is contributing heavily for the Ducks, and has started all 41 games.

She’s batting .349 with eight home runs and a .615 slugging percentage.

Shipman, who was recently drafted by the USSSA Pride pro team and is a top 25 finalist for the USA Softball Player of the Year award, leads the Volunteers with a .424 batting average and 14 home runs.

Tennessee, which fell to Oklahoma in last season’s national championship series, is currently ranked fourth in the nation.

And speaking of Oklahoma, Canyon High graduate Brittany Williams is back this season looking for her second national title in as many years.

The senior is batting .280 in 2014 for the 19th-ranked Sooners, with four home runs.

Kemp has started all 42 games for the seventh-ranked Sun Devils and is batting .330 with 26 RBIs and a team-high 11 home runs.

And then there’s Melero, who ranks fourth in the country in RBIs per game with 1.41 per. Her .543 on-base-percentage is 13th in the nation and she has upped her batting average to .422, after a freshman year at .274 and sophomore season at .366.

She’s helped the Tigers rise to No. 20 in the nation, and leads the team with 62 RBIs and 30 walks.

All represent the wealth of talent the Santa Clarita Valley has to offer in the softball world, and all are hopeful they’ll be playing for a national title when the Women’s College World Series kicks off in Oklahoma City on May 29.

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