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Prep softball: Contrast of styles

West Ranch at top of its game, makes Granada pay for miscues

Posted: March 7, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: March 7, 2012 1:55 a.m.

West Ranch pitcher Bailey Foster (12) pitches against Granada Hills at West Ranch on Tuesday afteroon. The Wildcats defeated the Highlanders 11-0.

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The difference was evident early in West Ranch softball’s game with visiting Granada Hills at West Ranch High School on Tuesday afternoon.

While the Wildcats were playing fundamental softball, with pitcher Bailey Foster consistently getting ahead of batters and her teammates playing sound defense behind her, the Highlanders were fueling West Ranch rallies with errors and defensive miscues.

And those were the differences that pushed West Ranch past Granada Hills 11-0 in six innings of play.

Foster threw a complete game in the circle and gave up just three hits, while recording four strikeouts in the win, and was consistently throwing first pitch strikes to put the Highlanders (0-3) on their heels.

Her counterpart for the Highlanders, Sara Namy, went five-plus innings, and gave up 10 earned runs and struck out two to take the loss.

“Bailey threw a good game (today), getting ahead of a lot of batters,” said assistant coach Tom Dudley, who was coaching in place of head coach Bob Shults. “That’s what I preach are the little things. That’s what wins ball games.”

After taking a 1-0 lead in the second inning, the Wildcats (3-0) opened the game up with a four-run third.

The Wildcats led off the inning with four straight base hits.

Leadoff batter Kylie Sorenson reached on a pop up that fell just behind second base, feet away from two Highlanders’ fielders, and Lauren Lindvall followed up with an RBI double.

Jennifer Metcalf added another run later in the inning on a sacrifice fly, and Alissa Peterson drove in the last run of the inning on a single.

“It’s important when you get ahead not to let up,” said Janelle Lindvall,” who finished with a game-high three RBIs. “(Foster) did a great job of going right at them.”

And with Foster continuing to stifle Granada Hills, the Wildcats heeded Lindvall’s advice and pushing for insurance runs.

“She’s a good pitcher,” said Granada Hills head coach Carolyn Gunny. “She throws a rise and we chased them.”

Lindvall hit a two-RBI triple to score Mollie Sorenson and Lauren Lindvall, and Nicolette Klepfer drove in Janelle to extend the lead to 8-0.

In the bottom of the sixth, West Ranch tacked on two more runs on consecutive RBI doubles by Lauren Lindvall and Janelle Lindvall before the game was called.

It was the end of a game that saw the Wildcats’ bats get hotter as the game went on, and the gloves of the Highlanders continue to cause them problems all day.

The Wildcats got on the board early, as back-to-back infield errors by Granada Hills put two runners on with no outs.

With one out, Haley Hineman drove in Keeley Walsh on a ground out for the first run.

“The first time through we were a little slow,” Dudley said. “And the errors opened the gates and our offense took off.”

And that seems to be a trend early in the season, as the Wildcats are averaging 10.6 runs per game through their first three contests — a trend that has the Wildcats hoping for a successful season.

“I’m excited,” Janelle Lindvall said. “It’s my senior year and I feel very confident with this team.”

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