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Foothill softball: Saugus responds with late surge

Cents score 11 over fifth and sixth to run away with game

Posted: April 13, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: April 13, 2012 1:55 a.m.

Saugus’ Alyssa Rodriguez, right, and Canyon catcher Courtney Ziese watch Rodriguez’ double in the second at Saugus High on Thursday. Saugus won 13-3.

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Just when Canyon thought it had climbed back into its game with the defending Foothill League champion Saugus softball team, the Centurions awoke.

Saugus scored 11 runs in the fifth and sixth innings to turn a tight game into a 13-3 blowout victory on Thursday at Saugus High School.

With momentum squarely in the visiting dugout after Canyon fought back in the top of the fifth to tie the game at 2-2 on RBIs by Emily Walter and Hayley Bottino, Saugus (13-3 overall, 2-0 Foothill League) responded in a hurry.

Haily Yacovone reached on an error to lead off the inning and came around to score on an RBI single by Breea Bergara to break the tie.

After RBIs by Taylor Kister, Alanna Layton and Karlee Bickford later in the inning, Saugus led 6-2.

“This team, they never give up,” said Saugus head coach Julie Watson. “We play (innings) one through seven. I was happy we didn’t sink.”

In the top of the sixth, Layton, Saugus’ junior pitcher, struck out Kaelie Doyle and induced a groundout from Emily Walter to end a base-loaded, one-out jam.

That accounted for three of the 10 runners Canyon left on base in the contest.

“It’s timely hitting,” said Canyon head coach Dwain Whalen. “It’s the first time all year we haven’t had the timely hits.”

The troubles started right off the bat for Canyon, as it loaded the bases with one out in the top of the first inning.

Freshman Lexi Lotito grounded to Kister at first base, who fired home for the second out of the inning.

Layton followed up with a strikeout of Paige Johnson to end the threat.

She finished the game with two strikeouts and allowed nine hits, three runs, one walk and hit two batters in the game to pick up the win.

“I knew I had a good defense behind me so I used that to our advantage and hit my spots,” Layton said.

Saugus scratched across a run in the second inning on an RBI sacrifice fly by Layton to score Alyssa Rodriguez.

Layton went 2-for-3 from the plate with two hits and two RBIs.

Rodriguez was 2-for-3 with two hits and two RBIs, bringing her league total to seven RBIs in two games.

Catcher Karlee Bickford led the Centurions with three RBIs, going 1-for-4 with a hit.

Before the fifth-inning explosion, Saugus had been scratching across one run at a time, using the sac-fly in the second and two bloop singles and an infield single to score again in the third.

“There’s no doubt Saugus always has good hitters,” Whalen said. “But I feel they only hit the ball hard two or three times.”

And Bottino, Canyon’s pitcher, was able to work around those hits through the first half of the game, giving up five hits and two runs through four innings.

But once Canyon (12-4, 1-1) tied things up, everything changed, as Saugus added four in the fifth and seven in the sixth to pull away.

Bottino would finish with seven innings pitched, 12 hits and 13 runs allowed, one strike out and a walk.

“We took a step backward today,” Whalen said. “We need to take two steps forward next week.”

The Cowboys will get that opportunity in the Valley Classic-Birmingham High School tournament against Notre Dame on Saturday, and will return to league play Tuesday against West Ranch.

Saugus, on the other hand, has had as good of a first week of league play as it could have hoped for.

The Centurions put up 11 runs in an 11-5 victory over Hart to open league play on Tuesday before following that up with Thursday’s performance.

They’ll be back on the diamond in the Corona Santiago Spring Fling Saturday against Redlands before an early league test Tuesday at Valencia.

“I’m very pleased with the way we started off,” Watson said. “And I know it’s going to continue.”

661-287-5530

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