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Valley Christian goes on the offensive attack, moves closer to outright league crown

By Loren Kopff

Valley Christian softball head coach Jim Snyder wanted to get another win and improve his team’s chances of winning an Olympic League title outright. But at the same time, he didn’t want his team to pile up the score against the last place team in the league.
Sometimes things just can’t be helped but at the end of the day, the Lady Crusaders will gladly take their 20-2 romp over visiting Los Angeles Baptist in a game called in the middle of the fifth inning this past Tuesday. V.C. improved to 13-8 overall and 6-0 in league action. The 20 runs are the most the program has recorded since a 23-0 rout over Westminster on Mar. 18, 2008. The Lady Crusaders torched the Knights pitching staff for 19 hits, the most by a V.C. team since pounding out 28 hits against Ontario Christian two days after the aforementioned Westminster game.
“We weren’t looking for a big lopsided victory but we were looking for things like getting out of the gate quick, which we have struggled with all year,” Snyder said. “Again, we didn’t get out of the gate as quick as we would have liked. We gave up a run early and that’s a dangerous team.”
The Knights, with only three wins in 17 games on their 2012 resume, led off the game with three straight hits and a run off of senior pitcher McKenzie Goff. After that, it was all V.C. The hosts sent 14 batters to the plate in the bottom of the first, scoring nine runs and being helped with four Los Angeles Baptist errors.
The Lady Crusaders sent seven to the plate in the next inning, scoring once on a base hit from senior left fielder Kelsey Hughes and added three more runs in the third inning, two coming home on junior designated player Megan Collier’s blooper just past Knights shortstop Alexis Avila. The fourth inning saw 14 come to the plate for V.C. and seven more runs.
All nine starters had at least one hit with senior center fielder Ashley Snyder going three for three, senior third baseman Vanessa Sanchez going three for four with three runs scored and three runs batted in and freshman right fielder Madison Wright, the team’s leading hitter, collecting three hits in five at bats along with three runs scored and two RBI. Goff, who had not pitched since these two teams met on Apr. 3 in Mission Hills, scattered seven hits and struck out four. She won for the sixth time in nine decisions.
V.C. won for the sixth straight time and eight out of the last nine. It has also defeated Los Angeles Baptist eight straight times. The Lady Crusaders, looking for their first outright league championship since 2006, will host Whittier Christian on Tuesday that could decide the league title. Whittier Christian was in second place with a 4-1 record after defeating Maranatha this past Tuesday. The regular season ends Thursday with a visit to Village Christian.
“Even if you get an occasional weaker opponent, stringing together six wins is quite a challenge,” Jim Snyder said. “We’re not going to turn down any credit for accomplishing that. We wanted to finish above .500 in preseason and we didn’t quite make that goal. But we want to win league outright.”