By Diego Marquez
Signal Staff Writer
Heading into the bottom of the fifth inning without a score, Saugus softball found themselves in a pitching duel with Oak Hills of Hesperia on Monday.
Enter freshman Hope Lusk.
The outfielder stepped up to the plate after taking a couple of practice swings.
With one swift swing of her bat, Lusk pounded a ball over the second-baseman’s outstretched arms that ended up in the outfield.
Lusk’s triple started the Cents mighty bats, which propelled Saugus (11-4 overall) to a 5-0 win against Oak Hills (5-7).
“It felt really good to know that all my teammates were behind me and all of them cheering just made me get motivated and I knew I had to get the ball in play to help out,” said Lusk.
Dallas Andrews, Allie Enright, Libbie McMahan and Jessica Cordola followed with hits and scores.
“I was very proud of them for having that two-out rally and not giving up,” said Saugus coach Julie Archer. “You know hitting is contagious and that inning, after Hope got that triple, we had speed. Dallas put pressure on them with defense and we got that slap run and then just made things happen, so I was really proud of the way they all stepped up in that inning.”
The Centurions were able to hunker down for the next couple of innings to keep Oak Hills scoreless.
Pitcher Leslie Reynaga led the shutout, finishing the game with seven strikeouts. She only allowed one hit.
“I knew that I had to keep my team in the game,” said Reynaga about her pitching. “Eventually they will get their bats going because we always find a way to get our bats going.”
Archer said she was proud of how Reynaga finished the game.
“Leslie had a great game, this was one of her best games this season. She got ahead of batters and her movement was on today, so this was one of the best games I’ve seen her throw,” said Cents coach Julia Archer.
With the 5-0 win, Saugus heads into Foothill League play on back-to-back shutout wins.
“We just click really well and I think that is a really big part of a team and how we all need to work together and it just makes everybody play hard and makes everybody want to play hard. We all have the confidence in each other,” Reynaga said.
Saugus opens up league play at home against Canyon on April 10.