In the bottom of the seventh inning, Saugus softball held a three-run lead. But with runners on first and second with two outs, Valencia hadn’t succumbed quite yet.
Leslie Reynaga was still in the circle for the Centurions. And she was relaxed. She was able to strike out Emma Seper to put the game away at 4-1 and record her eighth strikeout of the day.
“I was just telling myself to keep pushing through it, throw strikes and how I know how to throw,” Reynaga said. “Keep pushing and fight until the end.”
Reynaga threw a no-hitter and was a crucial part of Saugus handing the Vikings their second loss of the Foothill League season and of the week at Valencia on Thursday.
Meanwhile, the Cents are still undefeated in league play at 4-0 (12-4 overall).
“Every opponent, we’re just trying to play our game,” said Saugus coach Julie Archer. “I felt like we did that today, so it was a good team win, that’s what I’m excited about for the outcome.”
Reynaga got plenty of run support before she even took the field. In the first inning, McKenna Gibson put up the first runs of the game by hitting a two-run single to score Gracie Keene and Bella Alvarez.
In the next at-bat, Maya Avila cracked an RBI double to bring Gibson home.
“It feels good,” Gibson said of the hit. “I’ve been on a little slump throughout this season but it feels good being back on track and it gives me the confidence to continue that throughout league.”
The Vikings (12-4 overall, 2-2 in Foothill League) were able to score in the third inning. Lani Paragas, who got on base with a walk, was driven in by her sister, Macayla Paragas on a sacrifice fly.
The Vikes also had support from Emma Montoya, who struck out six across seven innings.
Valencia held Saugus scoreless until the seventh inning. Dallas Andrews got on base with a single, then moved to second on a passed ball. Gracie Keene grounded out to move Andrews to third, then Bella Alvarez hit a sacrifice fly to drive her home.
“Even like that last inning when we scored an extra insurance run, we just made little things happen,” Saugus coach Julie Archer said. “It’s just manufacturing a run instead of always going for that big hit. They always know how to make things happen.”
Valencia plays on Saturday in the Woodbridge Tournament against Beckman at 8 a.m. Saugus will play Buena at the Michelle Carew Classic on April 4 at 10:30 a.m.