By Justin Vigil-Zuniga
Signal Sports Writer
Saugus (4-2, 1-0) softball beat Valencia (6-4-1, 1-1) in the Vikings’ first league loss since 2019.
The visiting Centurions got the lift they needed Tuesday from senior Alyssa Ramirez, who hit a three-run home run in the fourth inning. Ramirez finished 2-4 with three RBI.
The Saugus bats were hot against Valencia ace Casey Edwards, who was pulled in the fourth inning. Centurions head coach Amanda Clark wanted her team to play aggressively early in counts and not get into deep battles with last year’s league Pitcher of the Year in Edwards.
Saugus scored right away, getting runs in the first and the third inning before Ramirez’s exclamation dinger.
Outfielder Miya Wilson stepped up for the Centurions, hitting 2-3 with two doubles. Outfielder Shae Sabedra also played well, joining Ramirez and Wilson in the two-hit club.
Valencia would score two runs in the seventh inning off big doubles from Addie Snyder and Maia Paragas, followed by a one-out triple from Cheyanne Marxer.
But Clark has been preaching mental toughness to her squad all year, preparing them for moments like this.
“Our defense played solid, they kept their focus the whole game,” said Clark. “They were energetic but under control.”
Pitcher Marina Provencio would go the whole game for Saugus. After giving up the two late runs, she locked in and retired her next two batters.
Provencio finished the complete game with seven strikeouts and eight hits.
Both teams will now head to Bullhead City, Arizona, with a chance of a non-league rematch in their weekend tournament.
The two squads will also both be back in Foothill League action Tuesday. Saugus returns home to face Hart while Valencia heads to West Ranch
“It’s a great start. We definitely want to take it one game at a time,” said Clark.