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CIF softball: Wildcats’ firsts turn for worse

After breaking new ground this season, West Ranch falls in first trip to second round

Posted: May 25, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: May 25, 2011 1:55 a.m.
 

The West Ranch softball team racked up multiple firsts this season.

It finished second in the Foothill League for the first time.

And it won its first-ever postseason game in the first round of the CIF-Southern Section Division I playoffs last Thursday.

On Tuesday, the firsts turned negative after the Wildcats recorded their first second-round loss in program history.

West Ranch fell 6-2 to Big VIII League champion Santiago of Corona on Tuesday at Santiago High School.

“It was huge,” said Wildcats head coach Bob Shults of the season. “Everything is going in the right direction.”

West Ranch (20-8) took a 1-0 lead in the first inning on a solo home run by junior catcher Janelle Lindvall, her 14th of the season.

But the Sharks (25-5) jumped ahead 3-1 in the bottom of the frame after a three-run home run of their own.

The Wildcats narrowed the gap to 3-2 in the fifth when sophomore shortstop Kylie Sorenson was hit by a pitch from Erica Romero with the bases loaded, scoring Julia Lombardi.

Once again, Santiago responded, scoring three more runs in the bottom half of the inning.

“We hit the ball really hard today,” Shults said. “I honestly believe we could have won that game. The game is all about getting the bounce.”

West Ranch junior Bailey Foster pitched a complete game, striking out five and allowing six runs on four hits and six walks. Lindvall was 1-for-1 with a pair of walks.

Romero had four strikeouts and gave up two runs on six hits and four walks.

The Wildcats will return the bulk of their roster next season, only losing one player to graduation — outfielder/first baseman Alex Gaff.

After a landmark season, Shults said the stage is set for a 2012.

“As much as we wanted to win this game, I think we are learning so much more by losing and knowing we competed all the way to the end,” he said.

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