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Foothill softball: Crown is for Saugus only

Cents win the title outright; Valencia finishes in third place

Posted: May 13, 2011 1:55 a.m.
Updated: May 13, 2011 1:55 a.m.

It can now be said - Saugus softball and only Saugus softball is the 2011 Foothill League champion.

A 20-3, five-inning, mercy-rule victory over Golden Valley secured the title for the Centurions.

"We wanted to end as solo league champs," said Saugus head coach Julie Watson. "Going into the game, we knew if we dropped it, we would share it with someone. It was a big game, especially coming off a tough game Tuesday. We had to stay grounded and keep our focus."

On Tuesday, Saugus (23-5, 8-2) defeated Valencia 4-2, eliminating the Vikings, who had won the last 10 Foothill championships, from title contention.

The Centurions still had to deal with last-place Golden Valley (8-17, 1-9), though.

They made it evident early that they were motivated.

In the first inning, Saugus scored twice. Then they poured it on in the second inning with 11 runs, keyed by home runs from Jenna Kelly and Karlee Bickford.

The CIF-Southern Section Division I brackets will be released on Monday.

Saugus was ranked No. 9 in the final Division I poll, meaning it is likely that it won't be one of the top four seeds in the tournament.

Nonetheless, the Centurions just completed a special regular season.

"The girls are all very excited. We reached one of our goals by winning league. We have another goal in place - that's winning CIF," Watson said.

"We're celebrating tonight, then tomorrow we'll be back working hard."

Valencia 6, Canyon 3
Valencia can breathe a little easier.

The Vikings went from potential Foothill League champions to potential fourth-place team to settling into third place in the Foothill League.

The combination of the Vikings' 6-3 win on Thursday over Canyon at Canyon High and West Ranch's 10-4 victory over Hart puts Valencia in third place, meaning it will not have to go the playoffs via the wild-card route.

"When one door closes, another opens," said Valencia head coach Donna Lee on not winning the league title, but getting into the playoffs as a third-place team.

Two players did a bulk of the damage for Valencia.

Maddy Jelenicki and Andrea Brackpool each hit home runs and drove in three runs.

Valencia got on the board in the first inning with an RBI sacrifice fly by Jelenicki.

Canyon, though, took a 2-1 lead in the third with an RBI double by Courtney Ziese and an RBI sacrifice fly by Hayley Bottino.

Brackpool answered in the fourth with a three-run home run,

Jelenicki added a two-run shot to give Valencia a 6-2 lead in the fifth.

Canyon scored a run in the seventh on an RBI-single from Tiffany Dyson off pitcher Sydney Mundell, but she got out of the inning, earning the win.

One game after coming back from muscle inflammation in her throwing forearm, Valencia ace Carly Mortensen sat out the contest.

She should be ready when playoffs begin next week.

Valencia (21-5, 6-4) will likely see a first-place team from another league in the first round.

That could be bad news for that team as a Valencia squad at full strength is just as good as just about any first-place team in CIF-Southern Section Division I.

Canyon finishes the season at 13-13 (3-7 in league), which means it could apply for an at-large bid to the postseason.

The likelihood of the fifth-place Cowboys being selected, though, is slim.



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