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On the Beat Softball: Foothill sends four softball teams to playoffs

SCCS and Trinity also into postseason

Posted: May 17, 2014 3:34 p.m.
Updated: May 17, 2014 3:34 p.m.

West Ranch's Lexi Sorenson pitches to a Valencia batters during their game at Valencia High School on May 15.

 

Any path through CIF-Southern Section Division I is going to be difficult, and that’s the case for the four Foothill League teams that made it into the postseason.

The Foothill League was shown some respect by the selection committee, with third-place Valencia avoiding a Monday wild-card game and fourth-place Canyon earning an at-large birth into the wild-card round.

West Ranch and Saugus, which split the Foothill League championship, both earned home games in Tuesday’s first round.

“A Foothill League team can definitely make it to the finals and go far in CIF,” said Saugus head coach Julie Watson. “It will be a tough road but we have a lot of talented athletes from our valley.”

West Ranch is the league’s No. 1 seed by virtue of a coin toss and will play Pacific View League No. 3 Pacifica of Oxnard, while Saugus hosts Canyon of Anaheim, No. 3 out of the Century League.

Valencia travels to play Oxnard, the No. 2 team from the Pacific View League. All first-round games will be played on Tuesday.

In the wild-card round, the Canyon Cowboys travel to face Canyon Springs, No. 4 out of the Inland Valley League, on Monday.

In the CIF-SS Division VII softball bracket, the Heritage League champion Santa Clarita Christian Cardinals hosts California Military Institute, No. 3 out of the Warrior League.

Also in that bracket, Trinity Classical Academy, after finishing second in the Heritage League, hosts Hawthorne Math and Science Academy, the Coastal League’s No. 2 team.

Those games will also be played on Tuesday.

NCAA’s too: It’s not just tournament time in high school; Santa Clarita Valley alums are taking to the diamonds seeking a championship, as well.

At the collegiate level, the NCAA Regionals began on Thursday and will conclude today — with the 16 winners advancing to the Super Regional round.

Seven former Foothill League players are participating in the regionals, with West Ranch graduate Janelle Lindvall’s University of Oregon Ducks leading the way as the No. 1 overall seed.

The Ducks are 2-0 in their regional and will play today where a win would send them to the Super Regionals and a loss would force a second, winner-take-all contest with either Wisconsin, Albany or Utah.

Lindvall isn’t the only local on the cusp of advancing, though.

Valencia graduate and University of Tennessee shortstop Madison Shipman is one win away from advancing,

Golden Valley graduate Branndi Melero is playing in the regional round with Auburn, Valencia graduate Bethany Kemp is joined by her Arizona State teammates. Long Beach State’s Lauren Lombardi, a West Ranch graduate, is in action, and Hayley Bottino of Canyon is playing for Bryant University in the tournament.

Bottino was involved in the only regional to feature two SCV products, as Canyon graduate Brittany Williams joined her defending champion Oklahoma Sooners in the Norman Regional.

In the contest between Oklahoma and Bryant, Bottino was 0-for-2, while Williams was 2-for-2 with three RBIs, two runs scored and a walk.

Should Williams advance to the Super Regionals, she could very likely face Shipman and the Volunteers in a rematch of last season’s national title series.

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