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SCV softball playoff preview 

Saugus outfielder Sabrina Dockery (9) runs to second base against Valencia shortstop Jeanelle Bacat (16) during the sixth inning of Tuesday's game at Saugus High School on April 9. Habeba Mostafa/ The Signal

Playoffs are here for softball with four local teams eyeing deep runs.  

While Valencia took the Foothill League title, the remaining playoff spots came down to the wire. 

Here’s everything you need to know for the upcoming CIF Southern Section postseason: 

Valencia earns bye 

The champs will have to wait a week to retake the field after notching a bye in the Division 2 bracket. 

Valencia will host the winner of La Serna and Ramona, who battle it out on Thursday. 

Valencia pitcher Carly Kearns and the Viking defense have been on a tear and finished off the season allowing just four runs during their seven-game win streak. 

The Vikings’ offense has shown up at the plate all season. The group is led by senior Hope Seper, who enters the postseason on a four-game multi-hit streak. Seper is one of three Vikings hitting over .435 on the season. 

Valencia takes on the round one winner of La Serna and Ramona on Tuesday at 3:15 p.m. 

Saugus heads to Sierra Canyon 

The Centurions enter the postseason coming off a tough loss that snapped their eight-game win streak.  

Saugus (18-9) still feels confident going into the playoffs and will now battle it out in the Division 3 opener with the Sierra Canyon Trailblazers (9-5). 

As far as hot bats go, Sierra Canyon will have to find way to cool off Cents catcher Kaylie Stauffer, who broke the single-season home run record in her regular season finale against Newbury Park. Stauffer has launched out six bombs in her past six games, bringing her total to 14 this season, but she isn’t just swinging for the fences as she now bats an even .500. 

The team is right behind Stauffer, averaging just under 10 runs a game in their final nine outings of the season. 

Sophomore pitcher Kona Ramsbottom and the defense have also been dynamic and will face an offense featuring three Blazers batting over .450 to worry about. 

Sierra Canyon hosts Saugus on Thursday at 3:15 p.m. 

Hart wins win-and-you’re-in game, faces Fullerton 

Hart faced some historic losses in this year’s injury-plagued season. Despite losses to West Ranch and Golden Valley for the first time in over five years, the Indians found a way in. 

Hart took down Canyon, 7-2, in essentially a play-in game to push the Indians into a tie for third place. Hart junior Allison Specht two-hit the Cowboys while freshman Nia Melendez hit 3-for-3 with a home run and 5 RBIs to push the team back into the postseason. 

Hart (14-8) will now hit the road and take on the Fullerton Indians (15-8), the unscathed Freeway League champions. 

Fullerton enters the playoffs with nine straight wins with some impressive pitching numbers this season. The team is led by the underclass duo of Katelynn Mathews and Malaya Majam-Finch. Both possess sub 1.25-ERA’s while Mathews, a freshman, has struck out 105 batters this season, where the team has allowed just under two runs a game. 

Melendez will be one of numerous Hart batters tough to slow down at the plate as she, Alexis Lopez and Nicole Specht all finish the season batting over .400. 

Hart heads down to Fullerton for a battle of Indians on Thursday at 3:15 p.m. 

West Ranch prepping for road test at Duarte 

The Wildcats came alive when they needed to at the end of the season and snapped a four-game skid. West Ranch piled in 40 runs in three games before stumbling at home against Golden Valley.  

The Cats bested the Hart Indians for the first time in five years before falling to Golden Valley for the first time since 2018. 

West Ranch now advances into the Division 5 bracket and will travel to the Duarte Falcons (15-5-1). 

Four Falcons finished the season batting above .426, led by sophomore Daniella Matiarena, who hit .548. 

The Wildcats have a few hot bats of their own as Krista Viereck and Savannah Gatewood both finished their senior years above the .500 mark with five home runs. 

Duarte hosts West Ranch on Thursday at 3:15 p.m. 

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