Saugus softball won the Foothill League title on Thursday in a 14-3 win over Hart at Newhall Park.
“Last year we had really good chemistry as well but this year I feel like we really fused a lot better,” said the Cents’ Gracie Keene. “I don’t know, it’s just a family. Like we’re all there for each other, we’re sisters and when we work together, good things happen.”
The Cents (20-7 overall, 9-1 in Foothill League) were able to tally five runs across the first three innings while Hart was only able to score two. Maddie Reyes, in her first hit of the season after dealing with an ACL tear, cracked a two-run double in the first inning for the Indians’ first runs.
Keene kept the scoring going for the Centurions by launching a two-run home run in the fourth inning, driving in Dallas Andrews, who previously got on base with a single.
“After the first at-bat, I was a little annoyed with myself, but I knew I had to come back with my next two at-bats and do well and provide for the team, so I was just looking for something to drive,” Keene said.
The Indians (13-11, 5-5) were able to counter in the fifth inning with an RBI double from Kathryn Smudde that scored Samantha Nassief.
Powerful hitting continued for Saugus throughout the remainder of the game. In the sixth inning, Andrews got on base with a single, then Keene was walked. Bella Alvarez followed up with a single to load the bases, then McKenna Gibson stepped up for a grand slam to bring the score to 11-3.
In the seventh inning, Clarissa Ellwein singled, then Andrews reached first on an error. Keene brought both of them in two at-bats later with her second home run of the game.
Leslie Reynaga pitched five innings for Saugus, logging eight strikeouts. Malia Risdall finished the last two innings, striking out one.
“She’s feisty, she’s a bulldog on the mound is what we like to call her,” Keene said. “She worked really well for this team, she works super hard and throws the pitches when we need her.”
Saugus, which was eliminated in the first round of playoffs last season in a loss to Camarillo, will find out its first playoff opponent of this postseason when the CIF-Southern Section releases brackets on Monday at 10 a.m.