Battling chilly temperatures and gusty winds, Saugus softball traveled to Golden Valley Thursday afternoon.
The Grizzlies fought the elements, as Cassidy Cangemi took the mound and pitched a complete game en route to a 4-3 win over the Centurions.
“I felt like all of our hard work paid off,” said Cangemi. “We practice our mental game at practice and it finally paid off. We have done so much physical work that it feels so good to finally have a win that we have been waiting for for a long time.”
In the bottom of the first inning with the bases loaded, Golden Valley’s Vanessa Felix stepped up to the plate and took ball four to bring in the first run of the game.
Saugus head coach Julie Archer exchanged pitcher Malia Risdall for Leslie Reynaga shortly after.
With the bases loaded, trying to escape unscathed, Reynaga did her best to do some damage control, but the Grizzlies’ bats were determined to bring in some more runs scoring two more by the end of the inning.
In the bottom of the second inning, after walking the first Grizzlies’ batter and striking out the next two, Reynaga loaded the bases with walks to both Nicole Smart and Sophia Medellin.
Cangemi stepped to the plate and took ball four to bring in another run for the Grizzlies, putting them up 4-0 over the Cents at the end of the frame.
“They have been having great at-bats,” said Golden Valley head coach Daniel Soto. “They come out aggressive every game and if you look at our scoring, we usually put up runs pretty early in every single game that we have been in. They did a great job today.”
Running into some trouble in the middle of the third, Cangemi hit a batter and walked the next, setting up an RBI single for Cents’ Gracie Keene.
Saugus trailed 4-1 after three innings.
The scoring continued in the fourth as Saugus’ Libbie McMahan hit an RBI double, scoring two batters. The Grizzlies’ lead shrunk to 4-3.
Another pitching change was made my Saugus, as McMahan came in to relieve Reynaga in the bottom of the fourth.
Getting out of the inning unharmed, McMahan logged a strikeout and forced a ground out for the second and third outs of the inning.
“I thought both pitchers came in and did a good job,” said Archer about her pitching rotation. “They all throw differently so it’s good that we have three (pitchers) that we can go to if we need to.”
Ultimately, the Grizzlies came out victorious behind Cangemi’s pitching as she struck out Cents’ McKenna Gibson for the last and final out of the game in the seventh-inning.
“You can set your clock by Cass,” said Soto about Cangemi’s pitching. “You know she’s going to come out and give you a great game every single time, but today our defense really stepped up too, so they are making her job easy and it shows a great team effort.”
Hart 9, Canyon 4
In the second game of league play, Hart softball defeated Canyon 9-4 on Thursday.
Indians’ Jordyn Gasper and Brooke Marquez each had two RBIs and one run, going 3-for-4 and 2-for-4 in the game, respectively.
Hart pitchers Amana Souza and Brooke Dragoloski combined to allow only one run.
Valencia 4, West Ranch 2
Valencia improves to 2-0 in league play after the win against West Ranch behind Ally Shipman’s two-run home run in the bottom of the seventh.
Trinity 23, SCCS 12
Striking out seven batters on the day, Catie Robertson was able to give Trinity Classical Academy (3-3, 2-0 Heritage League) some breathing room against the Santa Clarita Christian Academy (0-3, 0-1).
Katie Heitmann went 3-for-4 for the Cardinals, while Heidi Schafer finished the day going 2-for-3 with two doubles and four runs.