Softball: Rangers outplay Blazers in league matchup

Redwood opens league play with 2-0 record after outgunning Golden West in 6-2 win

VISALIA – Redwood headed into spring break with a 2-0 league record after outgunning Golden West 6-2 last Thursday.

Michela Brown started the April 7 game for the Rangers and made quick work of Trailblazers retiring the side on a ground out to shortstop and two strikeouts. Camrielle Ortiz was in the circle for Golden West and struck out the first two batters before giving up a line drive to left field to Redwood’s Bella Valdez. Ortiz then walked Shelby Somavia and allowed a base hit to Morgan Bradford scoring Valdez to give Redwood a 1-0 lead after one. 

After a scoreless second inning, the Trailblazers’ bats stalled out in the top of the third as well. Redwood took the plate in the bottom of third and pummeled the Blazers for four runs. The Rangers’ Shelby Somavia roped a ball to center field for an RBI single. Bradford, who finished the game 2 for 2 at the plate with one run and one RBI, kept the hits coming with a single to right field which moved Somavia to third base. Kylie Maurice reached first on an error, scoring Somavia from third. Another single by Julissa Velasquez sent Bradford home followed by a single from Alina Hernandez which scored Maurice and Velasquez, giving the Rangers a healthy 5-0 lead. 

“We kept up our energy and we kept up our focus the entire time, we got on their pitcher early and often,” Redwood head coach Stevei Johnson said.

Redwood’s Brown found herself in a jam in the top of the fourth. With two outs and runners on the corners, the Blazers’ bats were able to connect for two hits before a ground ball to Bradford got her out of the inning without giving up a run. Brown finished the game for the Rangers with just one earned run and eight strikeouts.

“My changeup worked well for me because I was able to get the defense ground balls and pop flies so we can get out of the inning and hit again,” Brown said after the game. 

Each team scored in the fifth inning. Sara Vega was the first Trailblazer to reach third base when a sacrifice bunt by Karly Aguilar moved her into scoring position. Vega scored Golden West’s first run of the game on a Redwood error. 

Velasquez started off the bottom of the fifth with a walk for Redwood. She later came home on a double by Audery Hillan that went over the centerfielder’s head to maintain the Rangers’ five-run advantage. 

After a scoreless sixth inning, Golden West scored one more run in the top of the seventh when Olivia Hulsey scored on a fielder’s choice at third base before the game ended with a 6-2 win for Redwood.

The Rangers will officially kick off league play on April 19 when Redwood travels to Hanford to take on the Bullpups.

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