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West Ranch softball keeps the crown

Wildcats wasn’t the favorite coming into league play, but it will exit as champion

Posted: May 2, 2013 9:14 p.m.
Updated: May 2, 2013 9:14 p.m.
West Ranch head coach Bob Shults celebrates his team's win over Saugus with pitcher Lexi Sorenson on Thursday. West Ranch head coach Bob Shults celebrates his team's win over Saugus with pitcher Lexi Sorenson on Thursday.
West Ranch head coach Bob Shults celebrates his team's win over Saugus with pitcher Lexi Sorenson on Thursday.


It’s not very often that the tone is set so early in a game, but on Thursday, the West Ranch Wildcats softball team walked out of the first inning with a lead and rode that momentum to its second straight outright Foothill League title.

Starting pitcher Lexi Sorensen worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the first inning and pitched the Wildcats to a 4-2 victory over the Saugus Centurions at Saugus High School.

“That’s tough to do with the bases loaded and get out of it with no runs scoring that first inning,” said teammate Kylie Sorenson. “It’s very rare for a first inning to be a game-changing inning — And I think that was a game-changing inning. That gave (Sorensen) her confidence back.”

The Wildcats (16-11 overall, 8-0 Foothill League), had already given Sorensen a two-run lead in the top half of the inning, when Keeley Walsh doubled home Sorenson and Lauren Lindvall.

West Ranch padded its lead in the fourth with Mollie Sorenson doubling home Jessica Harper and Charlotte Romero to give the Wildcats a 4-0 lead.

Saugus (18-10, 4-4) pulled within two after a home run by Alyssa Rodriguez in the third and Taylor Kister in the fourth off Sorensen, two of just three hits she allowed in the contest.

For the Wildcats, the win was that much sweeter, clinching the outright title against the preleague favorite Centurions.

“It feels pretty good. We all knew Saugus was the team to beat,” Sorenson said. “Maddy (Jelenicki) came on the team and she’s always been a huge threat, I’ve played against her since I was 7 and she’s always been that way. Mariah (Lopez) is a great pitcher for her age, and I think they might have been a little too comfortable with how much talent they have. On our side, we knew we had to get better each and every day and we didn’t coast through anything.”

Their reward is their second straight Foothill League title.

“Of course we want to win league, that’s the first step,” Sorenson said. “We want to go undefeated, that’s our next goal. But we’re not stopping after one goal. Going far in playoffs is definitely big for us because we’ve gotten out in the second round every year. The team we have this year is the team that could do it and go far in playoffs.”


Hart 8, Golden Valley 2

The Hart Indians were a question mark coming into the season, but with two games remaining in Foothill League play, Hart is in the thick of the playoff race.

On Thursday, the Indians used a six-run fourth inning to pull away from Golden Valley in an 8-2 victory at Hart High School.

“It was a 2-0 game and we started to basically time the pitcher a little bit and the girls started to work the plate,” said Hart head coach Steve Calendo. “They hit it hard without getting it out and it paid off in the fourth inning.”

Jenae Coleman was 3-for-3 with three RBIs for Hart (10-15, 4-4). Sierra Quiala had a double and Katy Nelson hit a two-RBI single in the fourth inning.

Kaitlyn Reed picked up the win for Hart, tossing a complete game with three strikeouts and five hits allowed.

For Golden Valley (10-13, 0-8), Sydney Herrera took the loss in the circle, throwing seven innings with five earned runs allowed, while striking out two.

The Grizzlies put two runs on the board in the sixth when Nicole Morales picked up two RBIs to score Taty Castillo and Marisa Felix.

Valerie Goymerac, Castillo, Rebecca Hernandez and Herrera each had a hit for the Grizzlies.

But it wasn’t enough, as the Indians held on and now sit in a tie with Saugus for third place in the Foothill League.

The top three teams earn automatic bids into the CIF-Southern Section Division I playoffs.


Valencia 7, Canyon 6

To say the wind was blowing out at Valencia High School on Thursday would be an understatement.

That led to seven combined home runs between the Valencia Vikings and Canyon Cowboys in a 7-6 Valencia victory.

The Vikings (15-10, 5-3) started the game out with a bang, as Kristina Brackpool hit a first-inning grand slam to take a 4-0 lead.

Nicole Joseph added to the lead with a solo shot in the third to make it 5-0.

“We really should have put them away early,” said Valencia head coach Donna Lee.

Instead, the game went down to the wire.

Down 7-4 in the seventh, Paige Johnson hit a two-run home run to pull within 7-6, before Valencia pitcher Sydney Mundell got Julianna Carlos to fly out.

Carlos had already done plenty of damage in the game, though, hitting two solo home runs earlier in the contest.

The win puts Valencia in sole possession of second place in the Foothill League with two games to play.




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