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Foothill softball: Wildcats take another step

West Ranch victory gives it second place in league

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

West Ranch’s Lauren Lindvall, right, gets high-fives from her teammates after hitting a three-run homer against Hart at Newhall Park on Thursday.

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Last season, the West Ranch softball team earned its first-ever trip to the postseason.

The Wildcats will make a return trip this year, and they'll do it as the Foothill League's second-place team for the first time in program history.

West Ranch pitcher Bailey Foster took a one-hitter into the seventh inning, freshman Lauren Lindvall had two home runs and six RBIs, and the Wildcats beat Hart 10-4 on Thursday at Newhall Park, dropping the Indians to fourth place for the first time since 2005.

"I think that we knew that we didn't have what every other team had - the expectations," Foster said. "We had to work hard to get to where we are now."
"Agreed," Lindvall said.

West Ranch (19-7, 7-3) finished second behind Saugus, which beat Golden Valley 20-3 on Thursday, and ahead of third-place Valencia, which topped Canyon 6-3. The top three teams all finished 1-1 against each other.

"The tide is turning," said Wildcats head coach Bob Shults.

Hart (18-11, 5-5), meanwhile, will now apply for a postseason at-large bid, said Indians head coach Steve Calendo.

"It's just a matter of how many teams they take," Calendo said.

The Indians finished 5-5 in 2005 as well, finishing behind Valencia, Saugus and Burroughs of Burbank.

On Thursday, the Wildcats used 13 hits, three of them long balls, and received a standout pitching performance from Foster to capture the win.

And it didn't take long for them to set the tone.

West Ranch jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first inning with an RBI double by Lauren Lombardi.

That lead jumped to 5-0 after the second inning thanks to an RBI double by Kylie Sorenson that scored Alex Gaff and a three-run shot to straight-away center field by Lindvall that plated Sorenson and Haley Hineman.

"I was just trying to get a pitch, and it happened to go over," Lindvall said. "I was happy our team picked each other up."

The young center fielder did it again in the sixth, this time sending a 1-0 pitch over the left-field wall, scoring Sorenson. Two batters later, Janelle Lindvall launched a two-run bomb to center field that scored Nicolette Klepfer. It was her 13th home run of the season.

Lauren Lindvall tacked on another RBI on a groundout in the top of the seventh to make the score 10-0.

All the while, Foster was cruising, having only allowed a walk to Tracy Chandless in the fourth and a double to Jessica Jones in the fifth.

But in the bottom of the seventh, Hart began to catch up with the left-hander.

First, Indians pitcher Emili Escamilla's ground ball was bobbled with the bases loaded, allowing one run to come across. Then, Brenna Carlson hit a ground-rule double to center field, scoring Erin Henry and Jenae Coleman. Finally, Chandless' RBI single to right drove home Escamilla to cut the lead to 10-4.

Foster, though, got out of the jam with a groundout.

"We just didn't bring it today," Calendo said. "But, congratulations to West Ranch."

Foster recorded 10 strikeouts on the day, allowing five hits, two walks and two earned runs.

Escamilla took the loss, throwing 5 1/3 innings with two strikeouts, 10 hits and eight earned runs.

Lauren Lindvall finished 2-for-5, Janelle Lindvall was 2-for-3, and Sorenson batted 3-for-4.

Laynee Hokanson was 1-for-1 with a pinch-hit double for Hart.

Both teams will find out what their futures hold when the CIF-Southern Section Division I playoff brackets are released Monday.

"We can't get too comfortable," Shults said. "One game at a time. Lose and you go home."



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