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Foothill softball roundup: Saugus jumps back in

Centurions get back into league title race with win and help from Hart; Wildcats remain in first

Posted: April 18, 2013 10:07 p.m.
Updated: April 18, 2013 10:07 p.m.

Saugus head coach Julie Watson, left, high-fives Kaela Morrow after she hits a home run against Canyon on Thursday at Saugus High.

 

It’s been a rough start to Foothill League play for the preleague favorite Saugus Centurions, who entered Thursday’s game with the Canyon Cowboys at 1-2 in league.

That made Thursday’s 3-2 victory even more important.

Kaela Morrow broke a 2-2 tie in the fifth inning with a solo home run, and the Centurions held on to even their league record at 2-2.

“This is definitely a confidence booster,” said Saugus head coach Julie Watson. “We have one more game at the end (of the first half of league). We’re starting to figure it out and come together. We had a mishap at the beginning and I think we’ll have a better second half.”

Brandi Burgin took the mound for Saugus, pitching six innings and allowing two runs on three hits, while striking out four.

Mariah Lopez closed out the seventh.

The Centurions managed just four hits in the game, with Taylor Kister going 2-for-3 with an RBI and Maddie Jelenicki getting a hit and scoring a run.

The win puts Saugus in a third-place tie with Hart.

“(The beginning of the league season) was rough and we obviously didn’t play the way we normally play,” Watson said. “So it was rough going in 1-2, but they’re turning it around and the win today, they realized they can’t take it for granted. Hopefully we’ll finish the first half strong.”

Saugus travels to Golden Valley on Tuesday, while Canyon hosts Hart.

Hart 1, Valencia 0

The Hart Indians softball team wasn’t doing much against Valencia Vikings starting pitcher Sydney Mundell.

Then again, they didn’t really have to.

Despite getting just one hit in the game, the Indians handed Valencia its first Foothill League loss, winning 1-0 on Thursday at Hart High School on a fourth-inning home run to left field by senior Jenae Coleman.

“I dialed in and trusted my bat speed and trusted I can get that hit and let my hands go. And it did the trick,” Coleman said. “I knew it was a hard hit and I was prepared to give it my all on the bases. I look up and it was out.”

From there, senior pitcher Kaitlyn Reed did the rest for Hart (7-8 overall, 2-2 in league), shutting down the Vikings (13-8, 3-1) and earning the complete-game win with six strikeouts, four walks and six hits allowed.

The Vikings had opportunities late in the game, loading the bases in the fifth and sixth innings.

In the fifth, Reed faced down Valencia’s top offensive threat, striking out Kristina Brackpool with the bases loaded and inducing a ground ball out from Nicole Joseph to end the threat.

In the sixth, Valencia loaded the bases with two outs before Reed again induced a groundout to end the inning.

As good as Reed was, Mundell was just as good, going seven and allowing just one hit while striking out three.

But in the end, all it took was one crack. And with that, a Hart team that was a huge question mark entering the season is starting to make people take notice.

“This is just a great win,” Coleman said. “We’re on a roll right now and I know my girls will keep it up. We’re coming together as a team and it’s awesome. I don’t think anybody thought anything of us when we came in this year and I think we’ll keep proving it.”

Hart travels to Canyon on Tuesday, while Valencia hosts first-place West Ranch.

West Ranch 11, Golden Valley 1, 6 innings

The West Ranch softball team didn’t waste any time pulling away from the Golden Valley Grizzlies in an 11-1, six-inning victory Thursday.

The win puts the Wildcats in sole possession of first place in the Foothill League at 12-9 overall, 4-0 in league.

West Ranch scored four runs in the first inning and another three in the fourth to take a 7-1 lead.

Lexi Sorenson pitched two innings, allowing one unearned run on two hits and Lauren Lindvall pitched the final four innings, allowing two hits.

Keeley Walsh was 4-for-4 in the contest, hitting a two-run home run and racking up four RBIs while scoring twice.

Lauren Lombardi was 3-for-3 with two RBIs, and Charlotte Romero, Taylor Gaff and Megan Ernst were all 2-for-3.

The Wildcats are back in action Tuesday when they host Valencia. Golden Valley hosts Saugus.

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