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CIF softball: Eleventh unkind to Valencia

Third-seeded Orange Lutheran edges Vikings in extras

Posted: May 23, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: May 23, 2012 1:55 a.m.

Valencia’s Nicole Joseph, left, tags out Orange Lutheran’s Allison Moore during the seventh inning on Tuesday at Valencia High School. The Vikings lost 3-2.

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Carly Mortensen fought her way through 11 innings in the circle for Valencia softball.

Somehow though, in the second round of the CIF-Southern Section Division I playoffs, it wasn’t enough.

She allowed her only earned run of the game in the top of the 11th as Orange Lutheran beat Valencia 3-2 in extra innings on Tuesday at Valencia High School.

“We wanted to show we can win every game we play,” Mortensen said. “We wanted to prove everyone wrong.”

And against the No. 3-seeded Lancers, the Vikings (20-11) almost did.

Noelle Wagner hit the eventual game-winning sacrifice fly to center field, which scored Olivia Sandusky.

Orange Lutheran pitcher Jade Vecvanags finished the Vikings off in the bottom of the 11th, earning the win after pitching the last eight innings of the game in relief.

“It was a battle,” said Valencia head coach Donna Lee. “They won the battle. We had our opportunities. Too many runners in scoring position and we couldn’t get the hit.”

The only big hit Valencia did get came off the bat of Karlie Habitz, who smacked a two-run home run to center field in the first inning to quickly put Valencia up 2-0.

Kristina Brackpool scored on the homer after she got aboard with a single.

For the next 10 innings, the Vikings came up empty.

Yet thanks to Mortensen’s strong performance, the Vikings almost held onto the lead long enough to pull the upset.

“I’m proud of my team, the way they fought till the end,” said Mortensen, who will play for the University of the Pacific.

Mortensen struck out 14 batters and gave up seven hits while walking two.

One of her walks was issued to Sandusky, who was Orange Lutheran’s leadoff batter in the 11th.

She was moved along with a single and a sacrifice bunt before crossing the plate for the clincher.

Orange Lutheran (27-4) was down to its last out in the seventh inning when shortstop Alyssa Taylor snuck a ground ball through the infield for a game-tying RBI single, scoring Devin Montgomery from third base.

That allowed the game to continue, and the duel was on.

Each team had chances to score in extra innings, but neither could take advantage of the baserunners until the 11th.

“We’ve had a good attitude and good expectations,” said Lancers head coach Steve Miklos. “We’ve had some games where we came back like this. We don’t get down.”

Orange Lutheran got its first run of the game in the fifth inning when Taylor hit a ball deep to center field, where it went in and out of the glove of Valencia’s Missy Fundora.

Madison Buck scored from second on the play to make it 2-1 at the time.

In all, the Vikings left 10 runners on base and tallied nine hits, five of them in the first three innings off Lancers starter Madison Osias.

Mortensen is one of eight seniors concluding their Valencia High careers.

“It’s been great being part of a winning tradition here ... I still think the four years here prepared me well for college,” Mortensen said.

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