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Saugus softball out of character in loss

Posted: May 20, 2014 10:23 p.m.
Updated: May 20, 2014 10:23 p.m.

Saugus High's Ryleigh Bermea bunts during a CIF-SS Division I playoff game against Canyon of Anaheim at Saugus High School on Tuesday.

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There’s no way around it, the Saugus Centurions softball team that took the field Tuesday resembled little from the co-Foothill League champions that rolled through most of the regular season.

Errors and mental mistakes led to four Canyon of Anaheim runs, and that was enough in a 4-3 Saugus loss in the first round of the CIF-Southern Section Division I playoffs at Saugus High School.

Saugus, despite winning a share of the Foothill League title with West Ranch, was named the league’ No. 2 seed after losing a coin toss, and thus were pitted against Canyon, the No. 3 team from the Century League, on Tuesday.

With the score tied 3-3, Canyon loaded the bases in the fourth inning with no outs, despite the ball never leaving the infield.

Taryn Young sent a high fly ball to center that was deep enough to allow Brianna Betschel to score the eventual game-winner.

“We played a great game, just the little things beat us during the game,” said Saugus third baseman Alyssa Rodriguez. “Nothing huge beat us.”

Saugus (20-10) jumped on the Comanches early, scoring three in the bottom of the first, with Rodriguez plating two on a double and eventually scoring on an RBI single from Ty Cueva.

But Canyon pitcher Hailey Hilburn settled in from there, allowing just three hits after the first.

Hilburn finished the game with six hits, allowed three earned runs and had four strikeouts.

“I was ready coming in and I got a little shocked with the first couple of pitches,” Hilburn said. “But I gathered and came out very strong.”

Despite the loss, Lopez threw another great game, going seven innings, allowing five hits and one earned runs with 11 strikeouts.

But it was the mistakes that cost Saugus dearly.

Canyon’s Betschel reached to open the fourth on an error from Lopez, and Canyon (17-6) loaded the bases on back-to-back bunt singles.

Taylor Swearingen then walked in the Comanches’ first run before a single to center from Jezz Portillo tied the score.

Down the stretch, Saugus could do little to solve Hilburn, as the junior pitcher retired 14 of the final 15 batters of the game.

Saugus’ season may have ended earlier than it hoped, but the future looks bright.

The Centurions lose just three seniors in Rodriguez, Taylor Kister and Megan Wohlers.

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