After losing to Golden Valley by one run in early April, Saugus softball freshman Hayley Mihut wrote a phrase in permanent marker under the brim of her visor:
“Take care of the little things.”
A month later, in a 6-3 win over the Grizzlies at Saugus, the Centurions took care of the little things – and did some big things, too.
“I just wanted to beat them, prove them wrong because there was a lot of people who said, ‘Oh, Saugus hasn’t been doing well lately,’” Mihut said. “I just wanted to prove everyone wrong. Like we can beat Golden Valley. We got this.”
The Grizzlies (17-3 overall, 5-2 in Foothill League), who were riding a two-game win streak heading into the matchup, burst into the game with a two-run home run from Sophia Medellin in the first inning.
“We were doing what we’ve been doing, which is staying within ourselves and not trying to swing for the fence and going too big and having what I call, ‘team at-bats’,” said GV coach Daniel Soto.
Cassidy Cangemi (seven hits, eight strikeouts in six innings) was sturdy in the circle and was backed by a confident defense.
Saugus (15-7, 4-3) had prepared for Cangemi, though, and slowly began to steal Golden Valley’s momentum. It started in the second inning when Allie Enright drove in a run on a sacrifice fly. Clarissa Ellwein followed up in the fourth frame with an RBI single to tie the game at 2-2.
The Centurions tacked on two more runs in the fifth inning and in the sixth, Mihut, an Ole Miss commit, belted a two-run homer to seal the win.
“We were going crazy,” said pitcher Leslie Reynaga. “I was losing my voice a little bit towards the end right there because I was so excited. I was jumping. I think I almost fell and it’s just crazy. Just for a freshman to come up in a clutch situation like that, it’s big.”
Reynaga matched her team’s offensive power in the circle, giving up only three hits while striking out 12 batters.
“She always has a great attitude and she’s always ready to work no matter what,” Mihut said. “Even when she’s not pitching her best or when she’s not getting her calls she’s always ready to work.”
Saugus travels to Valencia on Thursday, while Golden Valley hosts Canyon. Both games begin at 3:15.
Valencia, West Ranch
The Vikings led 9-0 after three innings when the game was postponed due to rain. Play will resume tomorrow afternoon, with a game time yet to be announced.