Valencia High is down to its third softball catcher, freshman Amy Moore, who has taken over for injured Paige Smith (fractured hand), who replaced Rachel Mueller (quit). Moore was thrown right into the fire, starting both games of a doubleheader Saturday in a tournament in Irvine. She was a bit shaky in her debut, a 6-2 victory over El Modena of Orange, which was followed by a 6-0 victory over North Torrance. Valencia then defeated visiting Burroughs of Burbank 10-0 Tuesday, so Moore is 3-0 as a starter for one of California’s powerhouses. The Vikings are 21-3 heading into Thursday’s game at Saugus. “We’re not trying to put too much pressure on Amy,” coach Donna Lee said. “She doesn’t have to be a hero. I told her to just worry about doing a good job catching, and if she gets a hit, that’s great.” Moore, who also has played DH, is batting .355 with five RBIs in 31 at-bats. Smith, who is expected to return in two weeks, in time for the playoffs, was hitting .151 in 51 at-bats, so Moore has a chance to win the job. “I’ve never seen a ball hit that far. It was at least 250 feet,” said coach Rich Perez, who has been associated with local softball for two decades. “It was one heck of a home run.” Huff is batting .373 with two home runs and 12 RBIs. She has been walked 16 times in 22 games. Ailing: Two Saugus starters are out indefinitely with injuries. Alicia Junker is recovering from elbow surgery, and Claire Donyanavard might require surgery to repair knee ligament damage. Canyon catcher Jenna McGivney continues to trudge through the season with a broken toe. She broke it during pregame warm-ups April 18 against Burroughs but played the entire game, helping Canyon to an 8-0 victory. No playoffs: It’s been a tough year for the area’s small schools softball teams, Santa Clarita Christian and Scott Academy, which have combined for just one victory. Santa Clarita Christian has lost nine in a row, and winless Scott Academy has yet to hold an opponent to less than 14 runs in a game. [email protected] (661) 257-5218160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREOregon Ducks football players get stuck on Disney ride during Rose Bowl eventIt’s not easy job playing catcher for Valencia because ace Jordan Taylor might be California’s hardest-throwing pitcher. Taylor is 20-3 with a 0.13 ERA, 306 strikeouts and seven no-hitters in 161 innings. Taylor is the first Foothill League pitcher since 1989 to total 300 strikeouts. She could become the first to surpass 400 if she keeps the pace and Valencia makes a deep playoff run. “Jordan is on a mission,” Lee said. “She’s been absolutely fabulous.” Long shot: Saugus’ Tiffany Huff hit what might have been the longest home run in league history during Tuesday’s victory over Canyon – at least since the Crystl Bustos era. Huff, a Tennessee-bound senior, hit a shot at the William S. Hart PONY complex that cleared the center-field fence and scoreboard, landing near the pitcher’s circle on an adjacent field.
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