Valencia beat Canyon to remain undefeated in the league
The Valencia Vikings softball showed athleticism and circle dominance in the Foothill home league’s Thursday win over the Canyon Cowboys.
Three Vikings pitchers combined for one hitter in a 6-0 win, Valencia’s fifth shutout this year.
Vikings sophomore Carly Kearns got the start and was perfect for three innings of the job. Kearns credits much of his success to his anchor at the plate, catcher Addison Snyder.
“I felt great. I hit all my places,” Kearns said. “I just love the way Addison Snyder gives me encouraging compliments over the plate and all… This season I feel very confident. I’m just so grateful to have an amazing catcher behind the plate. She is my role model and I look up to her.”
Kearns fanned six Cowboys in her three-inning rushing performance.
The younger Maggie Mrovka was relieved to finish in fourth place. Mrovka also brought heat to the mound, passing just one test but keeping the no-hitter alive for three of his rounds.
Mrovka finished with three strikeouts.
“Our serve is really strong this year and I think that’s what will take us very far this season,” Mrovka said. “Everyone works as a team and we all just play together and we do very well. Both of our catchers are really good and they support us so well.”
Freshman Madison Strunchfield closed the game for Valencia (6-3-1, 3-0). The freshman conceded the single hit of the day to Canyon sophomore Jessica Carr but looked strong with two strikeouts after a quick pitch.
A couple of bombs also played in the Viking attack. Lead hitter Hayley Cheek led all batters with three hits a day, while third baseman Allison Wolfe started runs. Wolff cleared the bases with an RBI double in the second inning before hitting a solo home run to left in the fourth.
“I just thought, hit him back in the pitcher and look for a reliable line drive,” Wolf said. “I do it for my team, especially when there are runners. I just went there thinking that I want this for my team and I want this victory.”
Carr had a good start for the Canyon (2–6, 0–2), but a few on-field errors made all the difference. Younger Gabby Wensley went into the fifth inning relieved and locked in after a poor start.
Freshman Blair Rune sacked Wensley’s first pitch of the day wide of left field for Valencia’s second homer of the day.
“I think a lot of us are just very confident and we do our best,” Wolf said. “We work with each other in the dugout, telling each other what we see. It just helps us with the mentality when we get down to business, knowing what we’re looking for, knowing what we’re not, and just generally helps us to really have a strong offense.”
Wensley calmed down and took out her next five opponents to keep the game within reach.
The Cowboys had a bumpy start to the season but lost most games. Head coach Todd Wansley is hopeful his offense will improve after facing the Vikings’ furious serve.
“We hit the ball well,” Todd said. “But when we see a different serve, a faster serve and the like, it takes some time to catch up. So we just need to keep working on it. We just have to focus on hitting and defending in training for the rest of the season.”
Valencia head coach Sean Pollard has nothing to worry about in the first year of his career with all the depth of service.
“We’re very happy with the pitching staff,” Pollard said. “This is good for us, and such depth was very helpful. They all serve very well.”
Mrowca is the only single-hitter on Thursday to return and is pleased to see the level of play in the circle on the rise.
“We haven’t had that in Valencia softball for a long time,” Mrovka said. “Honestly, our pitching this year is killing. And I’m so proud of each and every one of them because they’re my best friends and I just want us all to do well.”
The Vikings got off to a great start in the league. Valencia will have more tournament action over the weekend before returning home on Monday to host the West Ranch at 3pm. Kanyon will look to set up an attack when the team returns home on Tuesday to receive Castaic at 3:00 pm.
“We still have a few non-league games to play,” Todd said. “So, I want to see good results in these games. I hope they will prepare us for the championship games that we have. I don’t see us being blown away. I see how we compete in every game. And if we can get six victories, everything will be fine. So, we still need to work on the beats and clean up the difference a bit, but I think everything will be fine. I haven’t lost hope yet.”
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