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Saugus makes some room

Centurions now have sole possession of third place

Posted: May 12, 2009 9:26 p.m.
Updated: May 13, 2009 4:55 a.m.
 
A big second inning against Canyon helped Saugus take a big step toward securing one of the Foothill League’s automatic playoff berths.

The Centurions scored six runs during the second inning and Canyon never came close to digging out of the hole in a 10-3 Saugus victory Tuesday at Central Park.

The win puts Saugus (13-15, 6-3) a game up in the league standings on Canyon (15-12, 5-4), with the Centurions facing Valencia and the Cowboys taking on West Ranch Friday.

“Our league’s very tight,” said Saugus head coach Julie Watson. “Every run, game and inning matters. We tell our girls to focus on the next game, and we did that.”

Canyon didn’t help itself by scattering six errors throughout the game, including two in Saugus’ big second inning.

Centurions shortstop Jenna Kelly drew a walk from Canyon starter Hayley Bottino, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt and scored on an RBI single by Karlee Bickford.

Bickford reached second on an error that allowed Emi Shimamoto to reach first, and Christin Clark hit an RBI single to plate Bickford in the next at-bat.

Abby Linn followed with another RBI single to score Shimamoto and moved to second on an error in the outfield. Jackie Shimamoto plated Clark with an RBI groundout, and as the throw went to first, Linn turned on the jets rounding third and beat the throw home.

Ashley Butera drilled a solo, inside-the-park home run to deep left field to cap the big inning.

“Our pitching let us down, bottom line,” said Canyon head coach Mike Rego.

Saugus added two runs in the third on a single by Jackie Shimamoto, who provided a reliable bat to aid Saugus’ flawless defense.

“Errors can cost teams games, and we didn’t let it happen,” Shimamoto said.

Canyon chipped into the lead in the fourth, when McKenna Smith smacked a single to score Brittany Williams and Danielle Sullivan, each of whom had walked.

Saugus starter Kimmie Lockhart faced some adversity in the middle innings, but she was able to get big outs and limit the Cowboys’ production.

Lockhart went the distance and allowed just three hits in picking up the win, striking out 12.

“They had the bases loaded and she did get a little tired,” Watson said. “Some pitchers might fold when they’re tired, but she came back.”

The Centurions added to their lead 8-2 lead in the bottom of the fifth. Linn and Shimamoto each scored on a two-base error that saw an errant throw to third sail into the Saugus dugout.

Canyon’s final tally came in the sixth, when Courtney Ziese scored on an RBI single by Smith.

“You can’t make six errors against a team like (Saugus),” Rego said.

Jackie Shimamoto finished 2-for-3 with three RBIs to pace Saugus, while Smith went 2-for-3 with three RBIs to lead Canyon. Jenny Wunderlich recorded Canyon’s other hit.

jgulino@the-signal.com

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