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Freeze in the heat

Valencia pitcher Carly Mortensen tosses a no-hitter in Vikings’ win

Posted: April 21, 2009 10:24 p.m.
Updated: April 22, 2009 4:55 a.m.

Valencia's Melissa Fundoro (20) slides into second base as West Ranch's Breanna Satiago takes the throw Tuesday at Valencia High.

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For two-time defending CIF-Southern Section Division I softball champion Valencia, great pitching has always been a constant.

On Tuesday, freshman Carly Mortensen took center stage, no-hitting West Ranch 3-0 at Valencia High, striking out nine and walking six.

“It is crazy to think I’m in the same circle as those amazing pitchers,” Mortensen said of the last two great Viking pitchers, Jordan Taylor and Jessica Spigner. “I have a lot of room to improve, but I think I can handle it. I look up to them.”

The lone runs for Valencia (19-4, 3-0) came in the fourth inning, when Vikings sophomore second baseman Bethany Kemp sent a triple to the left-center field gap, scoring junior center fielder Megan Foglesong and Melissa Fundoro, courtesy running for senior catcher Amy Moore.

“Their pitcher was throwing a lot of rising balls and a lot of changeups,” Kemp said. “I was just looking for a ball to hit.”

Kemp, who finished 2-for-2 with the two RBIs, came home two batters later when Justine Sibthorp stole second and the throw slipped through the defense and into center field.

Moore, one of only two seniors on the team, also finished 2-for-2.

“I was a lot more focused today than the last few games,” Moore said. “I didn’t take the last few games as seriously because I knew our opponent.”

Moore has been on the team for the last four years and played with both Taylor and Spigner.

“(Mortensen) reminds me of Jordan because she usually doesn’t let things phase her,” Moore said. “But if she does walk someone, she is really hard on herself.”

West Ranch (10-9, 0-3) threatened in the top of the seventh inning when shortstop Breanna Santiago reached on an error, and Brittaney Sarmiento and Alyssa Hernandez walked, bringing freshman catcher Janelle Lindvall up to bat.

In her previous at-bat, Lindvall drove a ball deep to straight-away center field, but a timely wind kept it within range of Foglesong.

Registering the final out of the game, Lindvall popped out to center field.

“It happened again,” said West Ranch head coach Bob Shults, noting his team’s inability to get a key hit in a close game. “We are changing our whole philosophy. We just aren’t playing with emotion. I just think our team doesn’t have that fire.”

Fire or not, Mortensen’s cooling presence in the circle kept her team undefeated in Foothill League play heading into Thursday’s matchup with Hart.

“I told her, ‘Help yourself and don’t get into jams,’” said Valencia head coach Donna Lee. “She pitched a great game.”

Combined with sophomore Sarah Enriquez, Lee has a dynamic duo that is keeping her team dominant in what she has called “a rebuilding year.”

Though it would be easy to rest on her individual performance, Mortensen remained humble and kept the focus on her team.

“I didn’t feel like I had my ‘A’ game, but I knew my team would back me up,” she said.

pputignano@the-signal.com





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