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Foothill softball roundup: League teams make push

West Ranch in position for outright title, Valencia takes care of business, Hart pulls upset

Posted: April 30, 2013 10:09 p.m.
Updated: April 30, 2013 10:07 p.m.

Valencia's Kristina Brackpool (8) is welcomed at home plate after hitting a three-run home runon Tuesday at Golden Valley High.

 

The Foothill League was thrown a curve ball on Tuesday, and Valencia was one of the beneficiaries.

The Vikings ended a three-game losing streak, defeating the Golden Valley Grizzlies 11-0 with pitcher Sydney Mundell picking up the complete-game, shutout victory.

“It just gets us back on track,” said Valencia head coach Donna Lee. “Sometimes you hit a little lull in the season. We had three tough ones and it just gets us a little more confidence.”

It seemed like a routine win until Hart upset Saugus later in the day and propelled Valencia into a second-place tie with Saugus in the league standings.

The top three Foothill League finishers receive an automatic bid into the CIF-Southern Section Division I playoffs.

Kristina Brackpool had quite the day at the plate, going 4-for-4 with a home run and five RBIs.

Nicole Joseph added an RBI on a 2-for-3 day.

The Grizzlies fell to 10-12 overall and 0-7 in league play.

“Every game is a big game,” Lee said. “As it gets closer to the end of the season we’re looking at playoffs. Anything can happen.”

West Ranch 12, Canyon 0

First West Ranch moved to the brink of securing its second Foothill League title in as many years with Tuesday’s 12-0 victory over Canyon at West Ranch High.

Then the Wildcats heard Hart had upset Saugus and handed the Wildcats at least a share of the title, three games up with three to play.

“I’m really excited for the girls and I’m happy for the girls,” said West Ranch head coach Bob Shults. “They didn’t expect it honestly,”

The Wildcats (15-11, 7-0) wasted no time pulling away from Canyon (14-11, 3-4), using three first-inning home runs to take a 4-0 lead right off the bat.

They added to their lead in every inning, with senior Kylie Sorenson leading the way with a home run, two doubles and four RBIs.

Keeley Walsh hit a two-run home run in the first inning, Lauren Lindvall hit a solo shot and Taylor Gaff had two RBIs.

Lexi Sorensen picked up the win in the circle for West Ranch, tossing seven innings and allowing three hits, while striking out eight.

Emily Goodspeed took the loss for Canyon, pitching 5 1/3 innings and allowing 11 runs.

“As far as our goal right now is to just keep getting better each game,” Shults said. “We really are fortunate that we’re in a position to win one more game and win the league title (outright). But for me, we need to beat Saugus. Put our foot on the gas and keep going for the best we can finish.”

Hart 6, Saugus 5

The Hart Indians pulled off another huge upset on Tuesday, this time defeating the Saugus Centurions 6-5 with a walk-off base hit by Kaitlyn Reed in the bottom of the seventh at the William S. Hart PONY complex.

The Indians took a 5-0 lead in the first inning off Saugus pitchers Brandi Burgin and Mariah Lopez, before the Centurions (18-7, 4-3) rallied to score three in the fifth and tie the game in the seventh.

That’s when Reed, who picked up the win in the circle by pitching a complete game and allowing just five hits, won the game at the plate with a single up the third-base line.

Reed was 2-for-4 on the night with three RBIs.

The win puts Hart (9-15, 3-4) in a position to battle for a playoff spot. The Indians are tied with Canyon for fourth place, one game behind Saugus and Valencia for second.

The top three finishers earn automatic berths in the CIF-Southern Section playoffs.

Saugus’ Rachel Shotzbarger was 3-for-4 with four RBIs and Alyssa Rodriguez had an RBI.

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