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Prep softball: One is enough for the Vikings

Mortensen makes Valencia’s lone run stand up in win

Posted: March 14, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: March 14, 2012 1:55 a.m.

Valencia's Wendy Cardinali, left, and Nicole Joseph signal the outfield after making the second out of the final inning of the Vikings' 1-0 victory over Oxnard on Tuesday at Valencia High School.

With Valencia softball’s bats remaining relatively quiet through the duration of its game against Oxnard High on Tuesday, the difference between victory and defeat fell squarely on the shoulders of senior Vikings pitcher Carly Mortensen.

Seven innings, seven hits, no runs and 11 strikeouts later, Mortensen walked off the field with the win in a 1-0 shutout victory over the Yellowjackets at Valencia High School.

“It’s exciting — as a senior I expect to do well and I’m working hard so I will,” Mortensen said. “(Oxnard) is super-aggressive. All their hitters were aggressive. You had to work for every out.”

The Vikings (8-3) scored the game’s only run in the second inning on an RBI single down the right-field line by Sarah Solano.

But Valencia blew an opportunity to take a substantial lead in the inning, when Tawni O’Brien hit the first pitch of the at-bat back to the pitcher with the bases loaded for a double play.

“I was disappointed (with the inning) because our batters weren’t patient,” said Valencia head coach Donna Lee.

But the lone run proved to be enough, as Mortensen continued to dominate Oxnard batters.

“We knew it would be a test (facing Mortensen),” said Oxnard head coach Paul Tinoco. “A lot of girls had never seen a girl like (Mortensen).”

For the Yellowjackets (1-5), it was up to pitcher Alexis Edwards to keep Oxnard in the game.

And she did just that.

Edwards pitched six innings, allowing six hits and one run while striking out two batters.

“She’s pitched good so far,” Tinoco said. “All year, she’s been what’s keeping us in the games.”

But it was the second inning that made the difference, despite the Vikings’ struggles to bring batters home.

Valencia stranded four runners in the game, including three in the second inning.

“We need to score more than one run,” Lee said. “We have a league that has a lot of really good hitters and one run won’t cut it.”


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