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Foothill League softball: Vikes claim 10th title

Valencia clinches share with two games left to play

Posted: May 6, 2010 11:08 p.m.
Updated: May 7, 2010 4:55 a.m.
 
Down three runs with bases loaded, no outs and its heavy hitters coming up, the Hart High School softball team had a chance to hand Valencia its first Foothill League loss of the season.

But Vikings pitcher Carly Mortensen wanted nothing to do with it.

Mortensen got Brenna Carlson to ground into a fielder’s choice and struck out Tracy Chandless and Lauren Anderson to preserve the 6-3 win and Valencia’s 10th straight Foothill League title on Thursday at Newhall Park.

“It’s really amazing,” said Valencia head coach Donna Lee, about the 10th league championship. “Our first goal was to clinch league and our No. 2 goal is to go undefeated.”

Valencia (24-3-1, 8-0) has won 16 straight games and Lee admits that she was a bit worried when Chandless, who had hit a three-run homer in the fifth inning, came up with bases loaded.

“That was a little scary,” Lee said. “She’s been really hot, but I didn’t want to walk her and I had confidence in Carly.”

Mortensen said she just had to keep her composure.

“I also knew that my defense was behind me and I had room for them to hit,” Mortensen said.

Chandless said she was just thinking about putting the ball into play and getting a base hit.

“But then I had two strikes and I decided to swing at anything close,” Chandless said. “She won the battle.”

Mortensen walked one, struck out four and gave up one hit after coming in for Sarah Enriquez, who pitched 5 2/3 innings, striking out four, walking three and giving up four hits, the last being the home run by Chandless.

Emili Escamilla threw six innings for Hart (18-7-1, 5-3), striking out two and walking one, while giving up five hits and six runs. Taylor Britt pitched the sixth inning, giving up two hits and one run.

Valencia’s Bethany Kemp was 3-for-3 with a double and a triple. Kemp’s sacrifice fly in the seventh inning looked like it was deep enough to complete the cycle, but Hart’s Jessica Jones reached up and caught it.

“The last time we played them, I was 0-for-3 and I was mad,” Kemp said. “I wanted to see and drive it.”

Valencia took a 1-0 lead in the second inning and extended it to 4-0 in the fifth with a triple by Lauren Boser that scored Tori Balta, followed by a two-RBI double by Kemp.

After Hart closed it to 4-3 in the bottom of the fifth off Chandless’ homer, Valencia got some breathing room when Melissa Fundora, who was running for Karlie Habitz, scored on Annie Dreher’s hard grounder through the right side.

Madison Shipman scored Valencia’s final run on a throwing error following a sacrifice fly by Kemp.

“We gave a good team too many opportunities,” said Hart head coach Steve Calendo. “But, I love the fight of our girls.”

Hart is in a battle with West Ranch for second place in the Foothill League and will play Golden Valley on Tuesday before taking on the Wildcats on Thursday.

Valencia will play Saugus on Tuesday and Canyon on Thursday.

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