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Prep softball: Cents stay strong

Saugus tops Wildcats in High Desert championship game

Posted: April 1, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: April 1, 2011 1:55 a.m.

After a strong start to the season, the Saugus softball team finally cracked the CIF-Southern Section Division I poll on Monday.

On Thursday, the Centurions bolstered their new ranking.

Alana Layton outdueled West Ranch starter Bailey Foster, and No. 10 Saugus capitalized on a pair of West Ranch miscues to win 1-0 in the championship game of the High Desert Classic at Central Park.

The game was originally scheduled for March 21 but was postponed due to rain.

"Every game we play, our confidence goes up," said Centurions head coach Julie Watson. "We are playing well right now. If we continue to play the way we're playing, good things should happen in league."

The same goes for Layton, who threw a complete-game shutout with four strikeouts.

The Centurions (13-1) jumped ahead of West Ranch (10-2) in the sixth inning after shortstop Jenna Kelly drew a walk. A pickoff attempt to first went behind the first baseman allowing pinch runner Brea Bregara to advance to second.

Alyssa Rodriguez made sure Saugus cashed in when she hit a chopper to third base. The ball wasn't fielded cleanly, and Rodriguez beat out the throw, while the speedy Bregara came around to score.

"We made the one mistake, and they didn't," said West Ranch head coach Bob Shults. "They are very well-coached, Saugus. They have all the players. They have all the players in the right spots. They are going to be tough to beat. They are going to go very far into the playoffs."

Layton was calm the rest of the way.

The Centurions had a chance to blow the game open in the fourth inning with two outs and the bases loaded and hard-hitting catcher Ashley Butera at the plate.

Butera sent the ball to deep center field, but Wildcats freshman Lauren Lindvall ran under it, and was able to make the catch.

Foster also had a standout day in the circle. The junior recorded seven strikeouts while allowing four hits and five walks through six innings.

Both Foster and Layton were named to the all-tournament team, while Kelly was named the MVP of the four-game tourney.

Kelly finished 1-for-1 on Thursday with a pair of walks. Saugus' Emi Shimamoto was 1-for-3 and Christen Clark was 2-for-3.

Butera and teammate Sara Shier were also named to the all-tournament team, while Janelle Lindvall, who was 2-for-2 Thursday, and Kylie Sorenson got the nod from West Ranch.




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