Midway through the second inning of his team’s game against Golden Valley, Hart coach Steve Calendo turned to the players in the dugout and asked what the score was.
“Zero-zero,” the players replied immediately.
The score wasn’t 0-0. The Indians were up by three runs and eventually shut out the Grizzlies 10-0 in five innings at Newhall Park on Tuesday.
“It’s always the beginning of the game, so always start out strong in every inning and treat every inning like a new game,” said Hart junior Kathryn Smudde. “So that we can all start off and have a good attitude, get pumped up like how we were the first inning.”
The first inning was filled with solid hitting from the Indians (8-3 overall, 1-0 in Foothill League). Smudde started off at the top of the lineup with a double, then Brooke Dragoloski drove her in with an RBI single. Two at-bats later, Briana De La Maza cracked a two-run triple to give the Indians an early 3-0 advantage.
The hits continued in the second inning. Amanda Souza bunted to get on base on a single, then Smudde followed up with a home run that cleared the center field fence with room to spare.
“I’m just on a really good streak right now, so I’ve been seeing the pitches super well and I’ve been practicing a lot on the outside,” Smudde said.
Smudde said she’s able to hear when she has a home run almost as fast as she can see when she has one.
“I focus on running until I see it clear over the fence and I hear people,” Smudde said. “I just hear everybody screaming.”
Dragoloski hit a single immediately after, then Aly Kaneshiro got on base due to an error. Kameryn Smudde, De La Maza and Juliette Owen hit three straight RBI singles to put the Indians up 10-0.
“I think they’re seeing the pitching, they were adjusting to (GV pitcher) Sophie,” Calendo said. “They were being patient and they hit their pitch and I think that was the critical part. They waited and they hit their pitch. They didn’t hit Sophie’s pitch.”
The Grizzlies (2-8, 0-1) were able to log four hits between the third and fourth innings, with singles from Shelby Sanders, Elizabeth Labbe, Jasmin Smith and Samantha Juarez.
Sophia Medellin also had a single in the first inning and pitched for the first two innings, although pitcher isn’t her usual position. She recorded one strikeout in the two frames.
“We are not a strong pitching team,” Golden Valley coach Daniel Soto said. “We’re still a good offensive team, but we kind of let that kind of bring us down and then we let it affect the other portions of our game and that’s the sad part that we have to get past.”
Freshman Allison Howell was in the circle for Hart and pitched the complete five innings, logging seven strikeouts and giving up six hits.
“I’m really confident,” Howell said. “I’m really confident in my team, really confident in everything pretty much.”
The Indians will next be 0-0 at Valencia on Thursday at 3:15 p.m. Golden Valley next hosts West Ranch on the same day at the same time.
Saugus 6, West Ranch 0
Alvarez went 2-for-3 at the plate with a double, a home run and four RBIs for Saugus (9-4, 1-0). Andrews was 2-for-3 with one RBI, a double and a triple, while Gracie Keene was 2-for-3 with an RBI. Leslie Reynaga pitched a complete seven innings, recording five strikeouts and allowing two hits.
For the Wildcats (3-5, 0-1), Jauregui was 1-for-2 and Baggot was 1-for-3.
The Centurions next play at Canyon on Thursday at 3:15.
Valencia 4, Canyon 1
Emma Bramson singled on a 1-1 count, scoring one run, in the first inning to start the scoring. Delaney Scully had two hits, both doubles, in three at-bats.
Pitcher Brianne Stone gave up one run on four hits over seven innings while striking out two.
Valencia moves to 11-2 and 1-0 on the season and Canyon is 1-8 and 0-1.