Valencia softball takes down nationally ranked non-league opponent


La Habra High provided the measuring stick. Valencia brought the arm.

Viking softball’s Shea O’Leary tossed a complete-game five hitter in Valencia’s 2-1 win over the highly ranked Highlanders at home Friday.

The junior righty didn’t allow a run until the sixth inning, making Kelia Paragas’ two-run single in the fifth stand up.

Valencia coach Donna Lee said it was just the boost her team needed with Foothill League play opening next week.

“It gave us a measuring stick to see how far we’ve come from the beginning of the season to now,” said Lee, whose team is 9-5. “We want to get better and better, and today was definitely a measuring stick for us that we’re getting better.”

The Highlanders (8-4) entered the game ranked ninth in MaxPreps’ Xcellent 25, composed of teams across the nation. They left without solving O’Leary.

“Today was her best outing by far,” Lee said. “A couple misses here and there, but for the most part her best outing. La Habra is no slouch. That’s saying something.”

Tied 0-0 in the bottom of the fifth, the Highlanders elected to intentionally walk Valencia leadoff hitter Ally Shipman, loading the bases.

Paragas made them pay.

“This was a game you could tell the kids wanted it,” Lee said. “… (This was) a team victory, one of the first games that Ship didn’t have an RBI.”

Thursday, Shipman hit two home runs and picked up four RBIs in Valencia’s 4-1 win over Granada Hills Charter. That win was also uplifting, Lee said, because Granada Hills had beaten three other Foothill League teams (Golden Valley, Saugus and Hart) already this year.

Valencia opens league play Thursday at home against Hart.

Friday kept the Vikings moving in the right direction.

“It was a good win, a very good win going into league,” Lee said.

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