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West Ranch softball storms ahead

Posted: May 20, 2014 9:50 p.m.
Updated: May 20, 2014 9:50 p.m.

West Ranch's Julia Lombardi hits a double in first inning against Pacifica of Oxnard at West Ranch High School on Tuesday in a CIF-Southern Section Division I first-round playoff game.

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It would be hard to imagine the West Ranch softball team getting off to a better start in this year’s CIF-Southern Section Division I playoffs.

The Foothill League co-champion Wildcats defeated the third-place finisher from the Pacific View League Pacifica High of Oxnard 20-0 in a five-inning, mercy-rule win on Tuesday at West Ranch.

The Wildcats (22-7) caught every break, made every play and hit everything they saw in a 10-run first inning that immediately put the game out of reach for the Tritons (13-10).

Wildcats senior captain Mollie Sorenson set the tone for the day by leading West Ranch off with a triple. She was brought home on the very next pitch when fellow senior captain Lauren Lindvall ripped a double into the left-center gap and kicked open the flood gates.

“We came out hard,” said Sorenson, who finished her short day 2-for-2 with two runs scored. “We knew we had to get ahead early and didn’t want to take (Pacifica) lightly. We didn’t really know anything about them coming into today so we just stuck to our game plan.”

Keeley Walsh doubled in Lindvall, giving the Wildcats a 2-0 lead after seeing only three pitches in the inning.

“That’s never expected in playoffs,” said Lindvall. “But our team is definitely capable. Hopefully we can do a repeat or something like it on Thursday.”

The Wildcats chased off Pacifica’s starting pitcher Sandy Quinones after only 2/3 of an inning when she gave up 10 runs on seven hits. Her defense didn’t help her out much, however, committing three errors, two of which could have ended the inning.

In all, West Ranch brought 14 batters to the plate in the first, collecting 10 runs on nine hits, five of which were for extra bases.

“We were really disciplined at the plate and we were hitting pitches right from the start,” said Wildcats head coach Bob Shults. “Hitting is contagious. I told the girls that once they do hit, it’s like a roller coaster. You just keep going and going and going.”

West Ranch added another six runs in the second and from there on it was just a matter of getting to the fifth inning so the mercy rule could kick in.

“I’m really proud of my team,” said starting pitcher Lexi Sorenson, who allowed only two hits in three innings while striking out four. “We came out with a bang and that’s exactly what we were planning on doing. We have the bats, the defense, and I think we have the best team.”

West Ranch will see if it can keep this momentum going when it travels to face Cypress High, the second-place finisher of the Empire League, on Thursday in the second round.


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