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Cents Are Home at Last

Posted: March 4, 2008 2:17 a.m.
Updated: May 5, 2008 5:01 a.m.

Saugus High's Nikki Dahner (44) comes up with a seventh-inning hit Monday against Lancaster at Saugus High. In Saugus' first home game in four years, it won 5-4.

 
Jenna Kelly made the Saugus High softball team's first home game on campus in four years an awfully memorable one.

The freshman, playing her first game, made her first home run a walk-off in the bottom of the 10th inning as the Centurions topped Lancaster 5-4 in the first half of a doubleheader Monday. The second game was ended prematurely due to darkness with the teams tied at 1.

"It was a very exciting start to a season," said first-year head coach Julie Watson of getting a first of her own, her first coaching win. "We were together and ready to go."

Especially Kelly.

After the Centurions (1-0-1) squandered a three-run first-inning and eventual 4-0 lead, she lifted a shot over the left-fielder's head and over the fence for the game-decider.

She was 2-for-5 at the plate.

Ashley Imperial did all of the pitching, going the full 10 innings in the circle for the victory on five hits.

Alexis Tellez had three of Saugus' 15 hits in her four at-bats with a double and one of the Centurions' five RBIs.

They combined for quite a christening. Saugus had been without a home field for years, forced to play its home games at nearby Central Park instead of on its campus.

"The girls were very excited," Watson said.

Darkness, it appeared, cost Saugus a chance for a clean sweep. After a scoreless tie was unbroken with a Lancaster run in the top of the sixth inning, Saugus matched it in its half with an RBI by Ashley Butera, who went 2-for-3 at the plate.

The Centurions had a chance for more but with runners on second and third base with no outs, the game was called.

"Obviously we wanted to finish," Watson said. "But if it's too dark, it's too dark to play. Nothing we can do about it."

Next up for the Cents is a weekend in Bullhead, Ariz. for the Tournament of Champions. Saugus leaves Wednesday.

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