Orange Lutheran pounds out victory over Lakewood
ORANGE – Orange Lutheran’s softball team hasn’t trailed often this year, but the Lancers are not a group that panics.
So it wasn’t a big deal for them when Lakewood jumped out to a one-run lead Thursday.
The second-seeded Lancers stayed focused and hammered out 11 hits in a 9-5 victory in a CIF-SS Division 1 quarterfinal at Orange Lutheran.
Orange Lutheran (29-3) scored multiple times in the third, fourth, and fifth innings, unleashing a barrage of nine runs after Stanford commit Montana Dixon homered to give Lakewood a 1-0 lead in the first.
“We just know that we are going to score runs because we have a good offense,” Mackenzie Boesel said. “We know that we have all seven innings to get those runs back, so we don’t panic.”
Orange Lutheran will be at Los Alamitos for the semifinals on Tuesday. The Griffins knocked out Orange Lutheran in the second round of the playoffs last year.
Boesel was 3 for 4 with two runs scored against Lakewood (26-5), the Moore League champions. Mariah Rodriguez and Danielle Dawson had two hits apiece, and freshman Ciara Briggs hit a three-run homer to give her team a 9-1 advantage.
“It’s easy to score some runs and then relax,” Orange Lutheran coach Steve Miklos said. “When you do that, you lose. We kept the pressure on for all of our at-bats, and I was really proud of our girls for that.”
Maddy Dwyer earned the win, improving her record to 25-2. She was cruising from the second inning on, but then a familiar foe struck again.
That was Dixon, who crushed her second home run of the game to cut Orange Lutheran’s lead to 9-3. It was the 39th homer of Dixon’s high school career.
Lakewood also put together a rally in the seventh, scoring twice and loading the bases with two outs. Taylor Pack flied out to Briggs in center to end the game.
“I was not nervous at all,” Briggs said. “We did our job by not getting nervous and just playing our own game because we knew we had it.”
“We all have confidence in Maddy. She did her job on the mound, so we’re proud of her.”
Dwyer completed the game. She surrendered five runs (four earned) on five hits while striking out six.
Briggs is anxious for her first taste of the budding rivalry with Los Alamitos.
“(My teammates) say it’s pretty challenging,” she said. “I’m excited for that because I love a challenge.”