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West Ranch uses big inning to beat Canyon 8-3

Prep softball: Wildcats six-run fifth-inning closes the door on Canyon

Posted: April 11, 2013 10:41 p.m.
Updated: April 11, 2013 10:41 p.m.

Canyon second baseman Amanda Doyle (4) can't make the catch as West Ranch's Keeley Walsh (3) beats the tag to second base in the fifth inning on Thursday at Canyon High.

 

 

For the second straight game the West Ranch Wildcats used one big inning to open up an otherwise tight contest and secure a Foothill League win.

And for the second time, that big inning came in the fifth.

The Wildcats scratched across six runs in the inning on Thursday and eventually defeated the Canyon Cowboys 8-3 at Canyon High School.

On Tuesday, it was a five-run fifth that helped West Ranch pull away from Hart in a 12-1 win.

“We have the offense to compete with every team,” said West Ranch head coach Bob Shults. “This league is so competitive. Any team can beat anybody.”

That sentiment was proving true Thursday as Canyon (9-8 overall, 1-1 Foothill League) stayed within one run of the defending league champion Wildcats for most of the game.

West Ranch (8-9, 2-0) put a run on the board in the second, and the 1-0 score held until the Wildcats’ five-run fifth.

Julia Lombardi doubled home Lauren Lindvall to start the rally.

Lombardi was 2-for-4.

Keeley Walsh, 2-for-3 in the game, followed with an RBI single before Mollie Sorenson came up with the bases loaded late in the inning.

Sorenson sent a deep fly ball to right-center field that was mishandled to plate three.

“You can’t give a team like West Ranch seven outs. It would have been a much different game. We might still be playing,” said Canyon head coach Dwain Whalen.

Canyon didn’t roll over, though, as junior Kaelie Doyle hit a solo home run over the center field wall to pull within 7-1.

Doyle was 2-for-3 with two RBIs.

After West Ranch picked up an insurance run in the sixth on an RBI-sacrifice fly by pinch-hitter Megan Ernst, Cowboy Paige Johnson made it 8-3 on a two-run home run.

“They scrap and they fight back. They could have laid down, down 7-0 and they didn’t,” Whalen said of his team. “They come back and they fight.”

On this day, though, it wasn’t enough, as West Ranch pitcher Lexi Sorensen capped the day with a 1-2-3 inning, striking out the final two batters of the afternoon.

“That was the best seventh inning she’s pitched all year,” Shults said.

Sorensen picked up the win, tossing seven innings and allowing eight hits and a walk, while striking out five.

Things are only going to get more difficult for both the Wildcats and Cowboys, as both squads are about to run into some of the league’s best.

West Ranch hosts Saugus on Tuesday, while Canyon hosts Valencia.

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