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On the Beat Softball: The two at the top

Posted: April 26, 2014 8:56 p.m.
Updated: April 26, 2014 8:56 p.m.
 

From the start, this season was about two teams: West Ranch and Saugus.

The upstart Centurions are looking to get over the hump, while the Wildcats are in hot pursuit of a third straight Foothill League title after a decade of Valencia dominance in the Santa Clarita Valley.

The Vikings have kept pace in the title race and are tied with Saugus for second place, but they still have a ways to go to match the league’s top two as legitimate title contenders.

Round one between Saugus and West Ranch didn’t disappoint.

The two hottest hitting teams in the league were roundly shut down in a pitching duel between Oklahoma commit and Saugus starter Mariah Lopez and West Ranch starter Brandi Burgin, who transferred from Saugus to West Ranch.

And while the Wildcats came away victors in round one, the game did absolutely nothing to separate the two squads anywhere but the standings.

Two teams could not have been any more even than they were on Tuesday afternoon.

The Centurions got on the board in the first inning, but even Wildcats’ second baseman Mollie Sorenson admits she made a mistake throwing home when there was an easy double play opportunity at first that would have left Saugus scoreless.

In the sixth, West Ranch needed a surprise suicide squeeze from its three-hole hitter to tie the game, and won it in the seventh on an error from Lopez, who was stellar throwing home all day, but erred in her attempt to send Sorenson’s comebacker to first base.

Everyone in the valley should be excited for round two on May 8. We might not truly know which team is better until then.

Rankings:

T1. West Ranch

T1. Saugus

3. Valencia

4. Canyon

5. Golden Valley

6. Hart

The Next Step: This paper has long highlighted the success of local athletes in college, and the plethora of talent across NCAA Division I softball from the SCV is no secret.

There’s now another name we can add to that list: West Ranch graduate and Stanford infielder Kylie Sorenson.

You might remember her tearing up the Foothill League as she was named All-SCV Player of the Year during both her junior and senior campaigns in 2012 and 2013.

Now she is one of 25 finalists for the inaugural National Fastpitch Coaches Association Freshman of the Year award.

Sorenson, a short stop, third baseman and pitcher for the Cardinal, is batting .375 with four home runs and a team-high 39 RBIs.

She’s also won three games in the circle this season.

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