By Justin Vigil-Zuniga
Signal Sports Writer
The Saugus Centurions (9-3, 2-0) won their fifth straight game after cooling off Hart (8-4,1-1), ending the Indian win streak at five games.
It was a great all-around team performance but Saugus was led by shortstop Alyssa Ramirez, who batted 3-3 with two home runs, five RBI and a grand slam. Madison Campeau also hit two homers on the day for the Centurions, both dingers coming consecutively after Ramirez’s.
Saugus starting pitcher Marina Provencio gave the Indians little to nothing and would get the win in her complete game. Provencio threw four perfect innings and retired 13 straight batters at one point.
After both teams scored one run in the first, Hart center fielder Tenley Sweet took the lead back in the third inning with a leadoff home run.
Provencio shook it off, locked in and went back to work, retiring her next 13.
“I was actually very calm,” said Provencio. “I know my defense backs me up and they were doing very well.”
The Centurions wasted no time jumping back in with their own leadoff hitter slamming a solo shot to right.
Ramirez hit the first of back-to-back homers, quickly followed by the two-hole hitter Campeau.
Saugus kept having chances to break it open in the early innings but the Indians repeatedly registered timely double plays to keep the game within reach. Hart had some great throws from their outfield halting every extra base the Centurions ran out.
Hart relief pitcher Emily Marr entered in the fourth, relieving starter Allison Howell. Marr would give up one run in her first inning of work before chaos ensued in the fifth.
After retiring two and walking two, Ramirez was due up with two outs and the bases loaded. The senior worked the count before launching her grand slam to right field. The team celebrated quickly and quietly with Ramirez afterward, almost as if the grand slam was expected of her.
“We just all have confidence in each other,” said Ramirez. “We all make a good hitting team.”
Campeau followed with her second homer, notching the 10-2 lead in the fifth.
The center fielder finished 3-3 with three RBIs.
“Hitting, defense, pitching, it’s all clicking right now,” said Saugus head coach Amanda Clark. “I’m super proud of this team.”
Provencio was near perfect from the third on. The senior ace only had one base runner for the rest of the game after giving up the home run. Provencio walked Hart’s Cassandra Cavarretta before retiring her next two opponents to end the game.
Indians hitting machines Alexis Lopez and Kate Penberthy were both quiet at the plate after both getting base hits in the first inning.
“It was a good game for four innings and it just got away from us,” said Hart head coach Steve Calendo. “Our pitchers missed a couple spots and [Saugus is] too good of a team to do that against. A couple calls went against us and it just snowballed.”
Saugus is now the last unbeaten team in the Foothill League after two games. The league certainly has some heavy-hitting teams, which will all be tested throughout the rest of the season.
“We know how good of a team we are and we know that we can do things like this,” said Ramirez. “I think this season’s going to be a really good season for us.”
Hart will now return home to host Castaic Thursday while Saugus will travel to Golden Valley. Both games are slated for 3:15 p.m.