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Prep softball: Title ’Cats

West Ranch rallies in semis before running away with finals

Posted: March 11, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: March 11, 2012 1:55 a.m.

West Ranch base runner Lauren Lindvall (8), right, slides safely into second base as she beats the throw to Camarillo second baseman Shelbie Franc at Central Park on Saturday. West Ranch took the Hart softball tournament title with a 9-1 win.

 


Down by a run, and unable to get much going all day against Chaminade High pitcher Taylor Stewart, West Ranch softball coach Bob Shults figured Kylie Sorenson might decide to lay down a bunt in front of the third baseman in the semifinal game of the Hart softball tournament at Central Park on Saturday.

And he wasn’t about to let one of his best hitters bunt.

“She’s the ultimate team player,” Shults said. “I said, ‘No matter what you do, you’re not bunting.’ So the first pitch, she took a huge swing and hit a three-run home run, and that was it.”

Sorenson’s home run gave the Wildcats a lead they never relinquished in a 3-2 victory to send them to the finals against Camarillo High.

Against the Scorpions, things came much easier, as the Wildcats hit three first-inning home runs to take the championship game with a 9-1 win.

“Our approach is so calm right now,” Shults said. “The kids are going out there and playing. If they win, they win. If they lose, they lose. The only thing is, we don’t want to beat ourselves.”

In the title game, there was no doubt who was beating whom.

After managing just three hits in the entire game against Chaminade, the Wildcats (5-0) had three hits in the first inning on home runs by Sorenson, Julia Lombardi and Janelle Lindvall.

Sorenson finished the game 2-for-4 with three RBIs and two home runs, giving her six RBIs on the day off three home runs.

Lindvall was 2-for-4 with three RBIs and two home runs, and Lombardi was 2-for-3 with a home run and RBI.

Lauren Lindvall went 2-for-4 with two RBIs and a home run in the game.

In what has become characteristic this season, West Ranch’s Bailey Foster excelled in the circle.

She pitched seven innings, giving up six hits, a walk and two runs while striking out four in the semifinals.

In the final, Foster pitched the first four innings before returning to close out the game in the seventh.

She gave up three hits and walk, with one run allowed and three strikeouts.

Lexi Sorensen pitched the fifth and sixth innings, allowing one hit and striking out two.

And while it’s still early, Shults thinks this is the year for his team to make a serious run in the Foothill League and perhaps beyond.

“I feel really good about this team,” he said. “This team is really coming together well. We have three seniors on the team (Nicolette Klepfer, Foster and Janelle Lindvall), and they’ve taken to leadership roles for the younger players. This is my fourth year, and I think the girls are starting to buy in. We have no drama at all on the team, and what we have this year is our bench is very deep. We have 14 kids, and any one of those girls can start. So this year, the girls at practice have to compete where we’ve never had to compete before.”

And on Saturday, that competition level paid off.
jstein@the-signal.com

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