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CIF softball playoffs: Cent packing

Foothill League champions are shocked in the first round

Posted: May 20, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: May 20, 2011 1:55 a.m.

Saugus High catcher Karlee Bickford, left, tries to apply a tag on Canyon of Anaheim’s Kaylenne McClure in the sixth inning on Thursday at Saugus High. Saugus lost 8-0.

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For 11 seniors, including eight four-year varsity players, the season came to a sudden and stunning ending in the first round of the CIF-Southern Section Division I softball playoffs.

Foothill League champion Saugus only managed three hits off Canyon of Anaheim starting pitcher Cheyanne Tarango and couldn’t recover from the Comanches’ four-run fifth inning in an 8-0 loss on Thursday at Saugus High School.

“It’s hard to believe we won’t be playing together anymore,” said Centurions senior shortstop Jenna Kelly.

Kelly, one of the longest tenured varsity players, had the most success off the University of Tennesse-bound Tarango, finishing 2-for-2 with a walk.

Saugus senior catcher Ashley Butera recorded the team’s only other hit — a pinch-hit single to left field in the fifth inning.
The Centurions (23-6) won their first outright league title since 1999 this season, but looked flat early Thursday as sophomore pitcher Alanna Layton worked out of multiple jams.

“I could tell they wanted it and were into it,” said Saugus head coach Julie Watson, “but they didn’t have their normal attitude, normal competitiveness on the field today.”

Canyon (20-7), the third-place team out of the Century League, stranded seven runners over the first three innings and left a total of 14 on base over the course of the game. The Centurions stranded seven.

The Comanches also outhit Saugus 15-3.

“We were making noise in the first three or four innings, but we couldn’t get the timely hit to take care of business,” said Canyon head coach Dan Hay.

But once his team stopped swinging for the fences, those hits started pouring in, Hay added.

The Comanches batted around the order in the fifth, scoring four runs on four hits, highlighted by Taylor Swearingen’s two-run double to deep right field. Their fourth run came on a misplayed ground ball at second base.

Saugus committed four errors in all.

Junior Kimmie Lockhart took over for Layton with two outs in the fifth and eventually closed the frame on a hard-hit line drive to Kelly.

With Tarango cruising, the Centurions couldn’t respond.

Canyon tacked on two more runs in the sixth on an RBI single by Lauren Young, who later came around to score when the pickoff attempt to second base went into center field.

“They just outhit us,” said Saugus senior Sara Shier. “We had beaten them in Bullhead City and wanted to do it again. ... We’ve played together since we were 7 years old. It sucks to see it come to and end, especially since we are going off to college.”

The Centurions beat Canyon 6-4 in the Tournament of Champions in Bullhead City, Ariz. on March 11.

Saugus pitcher Cassie Herrera came in for Lockhart in the seventh inning with the bases load, but an RBI sacrifice fly by Young and an RBI single by Kelly Stowe made the score 8-0.

Layton took the loss, pitching 4 2/3 innings, allowing four runs — three earned — on eight hits and three walks with two strikeouts.

Tarango threw a complete-game three-hitter with eight strikeouts.

“That was probably the best I’ve seen her pitch all season,” Hay said.


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