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Foothill League softball: New ballgame

Saugus beats ’Cats again after going 0-3 against them in 2010

Posted: April 13, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: April 13, 2011 1:55 a.m.

Saugus catcher Ashley Butera hits a three-run home run against West Ranch on Tuesday at Saugus High.

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The Saugus softball team lost to West Ranch three times last season.

This year, however, is a different story.

Centurions catcher Ashley Butera gave her team an early lead on a three-run home run, pitcher Kimmie Lockhart struck out six batters and Saugus beat West Ranch 10-3 on Tuesday at Saugus High School in both teams’ Foothill League opener.

The game marked the second time the two teams have met in 2011. Saugus beat West Ranch 1-0 on March 31 in the championship game of the High Desert Classic.

Winning two straight against the Wildcats made the Tuesday’s opener that much sweeter, Butera said.

“Especially after last season, and having beaten them before, we were ready for a fight,” she said. “To come out and put that many runs up was really good.”

Saugus shortstop Jenna Kelly finished 3-for-3 with three RBIs and scored on Butera’s first-inning shot that sailed over the left-field wall. The homer also plated Kate Karppenin, who reached on an error. Every Centurion batted in the opening frame.

Saugus (16-3, 1-0) pushed the advantage to 4-0 in the second inning after Kelly’s sacrifice fly scored Sara Shier.

But West Ranch (12-5, 0-1) capitalized on pair of Centurion errors in the fourth inning cut the lead to one run.

Wildcats catcher Janelle Lindvall reached on an error, and outfielder Lauren Lindvall followed with a single. Janelle Lindvall’s courtesy runner, Mollie Sorenson, came around to score on Jennifer Metcalf’s RBI double.

Lauren Lindvall later scored on an error, and pinch hitter Taylor Gaff tacked on the team’s final run on a grounder to Kelly that scored Metcalf.

West Ranch and Saugus committed a combined nine errors.

“We have to sharpen up our defense,” said Saugus head coach Julie Watson. “Now that we have one (league win) under our belt, we won’t have the nerves.”

The Centurions took over from that point, adding two runs in the bottom of the fourth on an RBI single from Kelly that scored Kelsey Christopherson, and a sacrifice fly by Shier that plated Karppenin.

Saugus put the game away with four runs in the sixth, highlighted by Alyssa Rodriguez’s three-run double that scored Brea Bregara, Shier and Randi Jossett.

“This is about as bad as we can play,” said West Ranch head coach Bob Shults, who attributed some of the team’s struggles to youth, inexperience and different positions. “Disappointing. The girls are better than this.”

Meanwhile, Lockhart was armed with plenty of run support.

“Our offense was on fire,” she said. “As a pitcher, it helps me a lot when we get good hits.”

The junior allowed three runs — one earned — on seven hits and two walks.

Lauren Lindvall finished 2-for-3 with a double for West Ranch, while Kylie Sorenson was 1-for-2 with two walks.

Wildcats junior pitcher Bailey Foster took the loss, giving up 10 runs — six earned — on eight hits with three strikeouts.

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