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Softball: Breakers make history

Laguna Beach earns first playoff victory with a 11-4 win against visiting Riverside Woodcrest Christian.

May 16, 2013|By Mike Sciacca
  • Laguna Beach High players watch and jump for joy after fellow player Haley Putnam hit a home run late in the game against Woodcrest Christian.
Laguna Beach High players watch and jump for joy after… (Don Leach, Coastline…)

The Laguna Beach High softball team took a turn at history Tuesday.

The Breakers, who were opening the CIF Southern Section Division 5 playoffs at Thurston Middle School against No. 8-ranked Riverside Woodcrest Christian (Ambassador League No. 4), scored an 11-4 victory. The win gave the 2013 squad the distinction of becoming the first Laguna softball team to win a playoff game.

The win came under first-year head coach Victoria Batistelli.

"I am proud of my girls," Batistelli said. "Each and every one of them played their hearts out for their team, and had a great game both offensively and defensively.

"Winning CIF was our goal from Day 1, and we prepared for it with a lot of hard work and by going head-to-head with some very tough teams in the preseason that pushed us to become the Breakers team we are today. I am so very proud of my girls for accomplishing this major milestone."

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Laguna's offense was prolific Tuesday. Sophomore Halle Redfearn went three for four with a triple and also stole a base. Senior Haley Putnam belted two home runs and drove in five runs. Junior Jordan Hartman went three for four with a triple, and senior Kennedi Gherardini went three for four with a pair of doubles and an RBI.

Redfearn struck out five and got the pitching win.

Defensively, the Breakers turned a triple play that started with a standout, diving catch by senior shortstop Cory Kent with runners at first and second base.

Tuesday's win advanced Laguna (11-16) to a first-round game Thursday at Almont League champion Montebello Schurr. The score from Thursday's game wasn't available at press time.

The Laguna-Schurr winner moves on to a second-round game Tuesday.

The last three Laguna teams have reached the CIF playoffs and each played in a wild-card game. The third wild-card game appearance, it turned out, was the charm for Laguna.

The only other Laguna team to make the playoffs, and the first to do so, was the 1990 team which lost a first-round game.

To secure a CIF playoff berth, Laguna had to defeat Estancia in a Orange Coast League playoff game on May 10, to determine the league's third, and final, automatic entry to the playoffs. The Breakers did just that, winning, 4-0 at Estancia.

Putnam went two for four with two RBIs, sophomore Jen Sorenson had a two-run single, and senior Katie Anderson singled twice. Redfearn struck out 13 and allowed only two hits, for the win.

"We played very hard with stellar defense and timely, situational hitting," Batistelli said.

Prior to taking on Estancia in the third-place playoff game, Laguna ended its regular season and league schedule on May 9 with a 12-2 home win over Costa Mesa. Anderson went three for three with an RBI double and walked once, Sorenson went two for three with a double, walk and RBI, Gherardini went two for three and walked twice, Hartman had two hits including a two-run home run, and sophomore Kaytn Ott went two for three with an RBI double.

Putnam earned the pitching win.

Laguna went 5-5 during the 10-game league schedule, prior to defeating Estancia Friday.

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