Laufou delivers key hit as Los Alamitos beats Edison
LOS ALAMITOS — Los Alamitos softball coach Rob Weil had watched cleanup hitter Infinity Laufou struggle enough. It was time for a change.
“She hadn’t been too consistent over the last two or three weeks,” Weil said. “I moved her to the 2 spot, hoping she could get some better pitches.”
Good call. Laufou homered in her first at-bat, the two-run shot holding up as the Griffins prevailed, 2-1, Tuesday in a Sunset League game at Los Alamitos.
No. 8 Los Alamitos (16-6, 4-1) tied No. 3 Edison (19-3, 4-1) for first place in league. The two will meet again on May 10, at Edison, in the regular-season finale.
“Wins like this are huge when it comes to the end of the season,” Weil said. “Our destiny is in our own hands. We win out, we’re league champs.”
Edison had a chance to tie the game but struck out with the tying run on third base. The Chargers had just scored their lone run after rallying with two hits in their final at-bat.
Los Alamitos pitcher Halle Humphrey didn’t allow a hit until the fifth inning against an Edison team that averages nearly eight runs a game. She finished with a four-hitter and struck out seven.
“I think she put herself on the map with that game,” Weil said. “She’s proven she’s a D-1 player.”
Edison seemed rattled early on after a runner was thrown out at the plate during a failed suicide squeeze in the first inning. Laufou’s home run soon followed.
“I think we got punched in the stomach and it took us a while to catch our breath,” Edison coach Josh Musselman said. “That’s the first time this season we tried a suicide squeeze. We went away from what works for us, which is to just score runs.”
Los Alamitos came in as slight underdogs having lost two of three and Edison winning its past 12 under its first-year coach. But the defending league-champion Griffins showed why the Sunset League still goes through them.
“They know that they’ve got a bull's-eye on their back,” Weil said of his players. “They’ve got to play an A-game every time.”