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Saugus softball gets even with West Ranch

Posted: May 8, 2014 10:00 p.m.
Updated: May 8, 2014 10:00 p.m.
 

The Saugus softball team hasn’t had much of an opportunity to get used to winning closer games during this year’s Foothill League season.

But on Thursday, they looked right at home in protecting a one-run lead from the first inning on in their 1-0 victory over West Ranch at West Ranch High School.

“We hit the ball well today, but it was just right at people,” said Saugus head coach Julie Watson-Archer. “I have confidence in (starting pitcher Mariah Lopez.) Only scoring one run, sometimes it makes me nervous. But I had full faith in Mariah that she was going to come through and shut them out.”

And shut them out she did.

Lopez went all seven innings, allowing five hits and striking out six, with West Ranch managing to get just three baserunners to second base on the day.

Alyssa Rodriguez put Saugus (18-9 overall, 7-1 Foothill League) up with an RBI single to score Lindsay Clare with two-outs in the first inning and Mariah Lopez shut the Wildcats down for seven innings to pull the Centurions into a first-place tie with West Ranch in the league title race.

Both teams now sit at 7-10 in league, with two games to go.

West Ranch pitcher Brandi Burgin, who transferred from Saugus to West Ranch (19-7, 7-1) and picked up the win in the two team’s first meeting on April

22.

Burgin pitched seven innings on Thursday, allowing eight hits and striing out four, but allowed the first-inning run that proved the difference.

“We’re playing really well right now and playing well as a team,” Watson-Archer said. “We have to finish strong.”

Saugus plays Canyon on Tuesday, while West Ranch will take on Golden Valley.

Hart 18, Golden Valley 17, nine innings

The Hart Indians received a scare from Golden Valley on Thursday, but tacked on a run in the top of the ninth to pick up their first Foothill League win of the season.

Sierra Boyaijian brought home the game winner with a ninth-inning double to score Roxy Blanchard.

Boyaijian was 4-for-6 with three RBIs.

Blanchard had three RBIs, Kylie Norwood was 4-for-6 with four RBIs.

The Indians (8-18 overall, 1-7 Foothill) led 17-9 heading into the seventh inning, before the Grizzlies offense turned things on late.

Golden Valley (5-15, 2-6) posted seven runs to force extras, before Hart came away with the game winner in the ninth.

“It was crazy,” said Hart head coach Steve Calendo. “It was the weirdest game I’ve ever been a part of.”

Valencia 13, Canyon 9

Valencia locked up an automatic playoff spot in the CIF-Southern Section Division I playoffs with Thursday’s victory over Canyon at Canyon High School.

The Vikings (13-14 overall, 5-3 Foothill) took a three game lead on Canyon and Golden Valley for the Foothill League’s third, and final, automatic playoff spot with two league games remaining.

There was no shortage of offense, with Valencia racking up 20 hits on the day and exploding for five runs in the second Emma Stanley’s three-RBI triple in the second gave Valencia a 5-0 lead, and the Vikings tacked on two in the third for a 7-0 advantage.

Stanley was 2-for-5 with a run and four RBIs, Lauren Dolan was 5-for-5 with four RBIs and three runs scored and Hannah Cheek was 2-for-4 with two RBIs and three runs scored.

For Canyon (12-12, 2-6), Amanda Doyle provided most of the fireworks, going 3-for-4 with five RBIs and two runs scored.

The Cowboys cut the deficit to 7-5 with a five-run third but could never get over the hump as Valencia continued to tack on runs in the fourth, fifth and sixth to pull out the victory.

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