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Valencia softball back on a roll

Vikings defeat West Ranch to set stage for important showdown with Hart

Posted: May 7, 2009 10:45 p.m.
Updated: May 8, 2009 4:55 a.m.

Valencia's Madison Shipman swings through a home run against West Ranch during the third inning Thursday afternoon at West Ranch High.

 
After struggling in two league losses last week, the Valencia softball team is back on a roll.

Freshman pitcher Carly Mortensen escaped an early jam unscathed, and the Viking bats gradually came to life in a 9-1 victory over West Ranch Thursday at West Ranch High School.

It was the second straight blowout for Valencia (22-6, 6-2), which dropped two games last week and found itself chasing Hart and Saugus atop the Foothill League standings.

“This win was huge,” said Valencia head coach Donna Lee. “We needed to take care of business today. We have to execute and put the ball in play, and we did that.”

West Ranch (11-13, 1-7) loaded the bases thanks to a pair of walks and a single by Janelle Lindvall, but Mortensen induced a grounder in the next at-bat that shortstop Madison Shipman fired to catcher Amy Moore for the force out, and Mortensen retired the next two batters via strikeout.

“That turned the whole game,” said West Ranch head coach Bob Shults. “Valencia doesn’t like to play from behind because they don’t have to do it often. Our goal was to get an early lead.”

Shipman kick-started Valencia’s offense in the third by homering off West Ranch starter Shayna Medoff, a shot that also scored Megan Foglesong, who had reached on a fielder’s choice.

“The home run was big,” Shipman said. “It really started our hitting rally.”

Valencia added two runs in the fifth when Shannon Fitzgerald reached base on an error and came home on a double by Foglesong, who scored herself on a wild pitch.

Caitlin Rooney led off the sixth with a walk and scored when Annie Dreher doubled in the next at-bat. Lauren Boser singled one batter later, and Foglesong brought both runners home with a single.

Shipman scored on an RBI single from Bethany Kemp in the seventh, while Kemp came home on a sacrifice fly by Jessica Smith.

West Ranch scored its lone run in the sixth when Lindvall doubled to lead off and scored on a double by Madison Vogelsang.

Lindvall went 3-for-4 to pace the Wildcats at the plate, while Brynn De La Torre drew three walks and came on for Medoff in the seventh inning and recorded the final three outs.

Mortensen went the complete game for the win, allowing just five hits while striking out 10 batters.    

Foglesong was 2-for-3 with three RBIs and two runs to lead Valencia, and Shipman was 2-for-4 with two runs. Dreher finished with two hits.

Valencia now heads into a showdown with Hart on Tuesday.

“We definitely needed these two games,” Lee said. “We needed to validate how good this team is, and we have to do it again Tuesday.”

jgulino@the-signal.com

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