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Ending the doubt

Ranked below Hart, Valencia softball defeats the Indians on their home field

Posted: April 23, 2009 9:32 p.m.
Updated: April 24, 2009 4:55 a.m.
 
In nearly every direction, Valencia pitcher Carly Mortensen had obstacles around her.

Large shadows from the past hovering over her.

A giant in the circle on the other side.

And base runners surrounding her in the bottom of the seventh inning.

The shadows of past Valencia pitching greats, the giant — Hart’s Destiny Rodino — and the base runners couldn’t get to her though as the freshman pitcher led Valencia to a 4-2 win over Hart Thursday at Newhall Park.

“I knew the history of the rivalry,” Mortensen said. “In order to win and help the team, I needed to be on my game.”
Mortensen, still very much an unknown commodity, is quickly making a name for herself.

She no-hit West Ranch on Tuesday, then went the distance Thursday, shutting the Indians out for six innings.

The Hart seventh inning was an adventure, though.

The Indians’ first two batters reached base, then Hart’s Jessica Shults hit a run-scoring sacrifice fly to cut Valencia’s lead to 4-1.
Hart’s Devon Lindvall then followed with an RBI single.

Mortensen was ahead in the count on Heather Stiglich, but the Hart first baseman then doubled.

With runners on second and third, Mortensen got Tracy Chandless to pop out to end the game.

“I don’t know if she likes drama,” said Valencia head coach Donna Lee of her pitcher.

Mortensen loaded the bases in the seventh Tuesday before getting the final out.

It was that kind of situation that frustrated Hart head coach Steve Calendo.

The Indians (15-3, 3-1) had base runners on in every inning but the fifth.
In the fourth, they left the bases loaded.
“We left too many runners on,” Calendo said.
But the Indians can attribute the loss to defense as well.
Four-year varsity starter and UCLA-bound pitcher Rodino struggled early as well, but it was that defense that didn’t help her much early.
The Indians committed two errors in the first inning, including one to lead off the game.
Megan Foglesong knocked two runners in with a single to put Valencia up 2-0.
Later in the first, Annie Dreher hit a run-scoring sacrifice fly.
Valencia (20-4, 4-0) was able to hit Rodino throughout the game.
The Vikings tallied their fourth run on an RBI-single from Bethany Kemp in the top of the seventh.
“They’re familiar with Destiny,” Calendo said. “They got the bat on the ball and did a great job.”
Hart came into the game ranked second in the CIF-Southern Section Division I. Valencia was third.
Despite losing key players again from a division champion, Valencia keeps proving people wrong.
They’ve been doing it for years.
Christina Ross, Courtney Baughman, Jordan Taylor and Jessica Spigner have all gone from the Valencia circle to NCAA Division I softball.
The last two have left and left the Vikings in doubt.
Mortensen’s ability to get out of trouble and out-pitch Rodino left no doubt.
The Vikings are alone in first place in the Foothill League.
Note: Valencia catcher Amy Moore said she played the game in honor of friend Bob Corrales who died earlier in the day from cancer.
cosborne@the-signal.com

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