It’s somewhat unusual to see Valencia pitcher Shea O’Leary leave the circle.
But against Hart on Thursday, O’Leary regularly was scrambling outside the chalk line for a ball, then hurling it to first base for an out as part of an infield that shut down the Indians 6-0 at Valencia.
“Being that fifth infielder, she was absolutely stunning,” said the Vikes’ Emma Bramson. “The second baseman made a few plays, Noel (Dominguez) got up like 5 feet in the air, Amarys (Miller Godsey) stayed down, I think our whole infield and our outfield was just on point.”
O’Leary only allowed four hits on the afternoon with no walks, and the defense as a whole only allowed five Hart batters to get on base.
“They were great today,” O’Leary said of the defense. “They all had my back, they were all cheering me on so I felt really good pitching.”
The Vikings (20-7 overall, 6-0 in Foothill League) got the scoring started in the third inning with a solo home run from Ally Shipman on her second at-bat. Shipman was intentionally walked twice in the remaining frames, making for a total of 19 intentional walks on the season for the senior.
“It seems every time we’re down and they pitch to Ally, she always comes up clutch,” Bramson said. “I think it really gets the momentum going. It gets us hyped up.”
Bramson grounded out in the fifth inning to drive in Valencia’s second run of the day, then Noel Dominguez and Amarys Miller-Godsey followed with RBI singles to extend the Vikings’ lead to 4-0.
Bramson added to the frenzy in the sixth inning with a two-run double.
“The inning before I made an error and a runner got on and I was kind of upset,” Bramson said, “So next at-bat, I had I really wanted to do something for the team and I really wanted to come through.”
Brooke Marquez, Jordyn Gasper, Aly Kaneshiro and Alexis Alverado each recorded hits for the Indians (7-14, 2-4), who are looking to make a push for playoffs starting next week.
“We made a couple mistakes and Valencia took advantage of it,” said Hart coach Steve Calendo, “but our season really does start next Tuesday. Our last four games, our season is right in front of us and see how we respond.”
The Indians host Canyon on Tuesday, while Valencia travels to West Ranch. Both games begin at 3:15 p.m.
Golden Valley 11, West Ranch 10
The Grizzlies’ Olivia Vasquez went 2-for-5 with a double and three RBIs and Marissa Alcaraz was 3-for-4 with two RBIs. Alexis DeYoung was 3-for-5 with two RBIs, Jasmine Carbajal was 2-for-6 with one RBI and Shanti Shannon was 2-for-5 with an RBI.
Pitcher Cassidy Cangemi recorded 12 strikeouts as Golden Valley (17-2, 5-1) plays at Saugus on Tuesday.
West Ranch’s Delaney Bevan had four RBIs, a double and a triple and Lauryn Bos hit a home run. Gianna Lombardi had two RBIs. The Wildcats are now 15-7 and 1-5.
Saugus 12, Canyon 2
Jess Cordola was 1-for-1 with a three-run homer and Libbie McMahan was 2-for-2 with a home run and two RBIs for the Centurions (14-7, 3-3). Hayley Mihut was 2-for-2 with two RBIs and Avila was 1-for-1 with two RBIs.
Canyon’s Kailee Powell was 2-for-3 with a solo home run for Canyon (5-16, 1-5).