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Cents bring thunder

Saugus goes on offensive tear, picks on Grizzlies’ defense

Posted: April 15, 2009 1:39 a.m.
Updated: April 15, 2009 4:55 a.m.
 
Everybody agrees defense wins championships in softball. But what about having the ability to hit the ball so hard that the other team doesn’t even have a chance to play any defense?
That’s what Saugus brings to the table.

It took the Centurions just five innings to score 20 runs on 24 hits Tuesday in their Foothill League opener on the road against Golden Valley, earning a 20-3 victory.

The game was ended early because of the 10-run mercy rule.  

“Some teams when they get a big lead, they start to cruise,” said Centurions head coach Julie Watson. “We stayed focused, we took extra bases; every at-bat was a great at-bat.”

The key against Golden Valley freshman pitcher Alexandrea Martinez was putting the ball in play. Saugus struck out just once and as a result was able to take advantage of an overwhelmed Grizzly defense. Golden Valley committed seven errors, dropping at least one fly ball in every inning, putting Saugus on base even when it didn’t get hits.

“When you mentally shut down like that and you can’t make routine plays, against teams that can hit the ball as hard as Saugus can, that’s what happens,” said Golden Valley head coach Courtney Carr. “We need to figure out how to start making those easy plays.”

The tough day for Golden Valley (6-9, 0-1) started with the Centurions (8-8, 1-0) scoring eight runs in the first inning. The biggest blow came five batters into the game with a three-run home run over the center field fence by Centurion sophomore Jenna Kelly.

“I saw the ball, I knew it was right there for me so I just turned on it,” Kelly said. “It was our first league game and we were definitely ready to show people a lot of offense.”

Kate Karppinen, Randi Josett and Jackie Shimamoto also drove in runs in the inning.

Saugus scored two more runs in the second on a two-run single by Josett, another pair of runs in the third inning and then exploded again in the fourth. The Centurions’ first nine batters in the frame – their entire lineup – reached base, as they scored six more times.

“Our offense is definitely going to carry us really far this year,” Kelly said.

A two-run fifth inning wrapped up the scoring. With two outs, Sara Shier tripled in a run and Josett followed with a double to drive in Shier, bringing the Saugus run total to 20.

Golden Valley’s offense came in the first two innings.

Karlie Habitz drove in a run on a fielder’s choice and Jessica Cabrera brought home another on a two-out single, giving the Grizzlies two runs in the first inning. Brianna Melero added a second inning, two-out RBI single, scoring her sister Branndi, as the Grizzlies’ showed promise early against Saugus starting pitcher Kelsey Christopherson.

“We know we can do it,” Carr said. “We know we can hit.”

The hits stopped, though, against Saugus freshman Stephanie Kuroski. The recent junior varsity call-up settled things down over the final three innings, allowing just two hits.

No Golden Valley runner advanced beyond first base in the final three innings.

Golden Valley will face a tough task in its quest to get on the right track with a matchup Thursday against two-time defending CIF Division I champion Valencia. Saugus will take on West Ranch Thursday in a night game at the William S. Hart Softball Complex.

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