With each strikeout she threw against West Ranch, Hart pitcher Amanda Souza’s smile seemed to get brighter and brighter.
By the end of the game and nine K’s to her name in addition to a 6-1 win over the Wildcats, Souza was beaming. And so were the rest of her teammates.
“She brings a different type of energy, that’s for sure,” said the Indians’ Brooke Dragoloski of Souza. “She obviously keeps it up and the strikeouts she gives us is definitely helping out and the ground balls and easy pop fly’s she’s giving us is really helping.”
Aly Kaneshiro brought some of her own energy to start the game off, launching an RBI triple in the first inning. Dragoloski followed in the third inning with a sacrifice fly to increase the Indians’ lead to 2-0.
Gianna Lombardi smacked an RBI single to left field to give West Ranch (12-5 overall, 0-3 in Foothill League) a temporary boost in the third frame, but Hart’s bats weren’t cooled off just yet.
The Indians (7-11, 2-1) picked up two runs in the fourth inning, then hit three doubles in a row in the fifth inning. Kathryn Smudde, Dragoloski and Briana DeLaMaza each recorded doubles, with Dragoloski’s hit driving in a run for a 5-1 advantage.
After the flurry of doubles, Sarah Backer hit a sacrifice grounder to make it 6-1.
“Our hitting is really good,” Souza said. “It definitely helps with having them behind me and like, it just makes me want to like, throw better when I know that they’re hitting for me.”
West Ranch pitcher Jenna Rorick tossed nine strikeouts in the loss.
“You can’t do anything about base hits. They happen,” said Makenna Harper. “But she did a good job hitting her spots, keeping them off track a little with her changeup, so I’m proud of her.”
Hart continues Foothill League play on Thursday at Saugus. The game will be particularly meaningful for Souza, who transferred in from Saugus prior to this season.
“It’s just another game,” Souza said. “Just don’t let them in my head, it’s just another game. Work on my mechanics and focus on what I have to do.”
The Wildcats play Canyon on Thursday. Both games will be at 3:15 p.m.
Golden Valley 2, Canyon 0
Golden Valley is now on a seven-game win streak with the victory and improves to 14-1 and 3-0.
Sophia Medellin went 1-for-2 with an RBI and Vanessa Felix went 1-for-3 with an RBI. Jasmine Carbajal was 2-for-4 and Cassidy Cangemi was 1-for-4.
Canyon is 4-14 and 0-3 and plays West Ranch on Thursday. Golden Valley will play Valencia on the same day.
Valencia 3, Saugus 0
Amarys Miller-Godsey led the way for the Vikings, going 1-for-4 at the plate with a two-run homer. Emma Bramson was also 1-for-4 with an RBI. Shea O’Leary gave up one hit and struck out 12 in seven innings.
Valencia is now 16-7 and 3-0, while Saugus is 12-6 and 1-2.