So far, so good for Laguna

What a way to start a revival.

Returning to play a full season of varsity softball for the first time in three years, Laguna Beach was hungry for action. The Breakers launched their 2011 campaign March 2 and scored a 13-7 nonleague victory over Connelly. On Tuesday, they scored an even bigger win.

The Breakers went to Corona del Mar to take on their rival down the road, a game that originally was scheduled for the new playing field at Thurston Middle School but forced by remnants of recent rains to be moved to CdM. The site switch mattered little to Laguna, which came away with a 7-5 win.

Laguna, a Division 5 school, knocked off the Division 2 Sea Kings.

"Our girls didn't blink," Laguna Coach Mike Hunter said of the opening week challenge. "They just battled and played a tremendous game.

"It's great to get this season started and it's great for the girls."

In Tuesday's win, Laguna scored four runs in the second inning behind run-scoring singles by Carissa Collins and Corey Kent and a run-scoring double by Karinna Reiss.

Corona del Mar struck for two runs in the fourth and another in the fifth to pull to within 4-3. The Breakers, though, retaliated in the fifth to score twice more, using a string of singles by Haley Putnam, Kent, Kennedi Gherardini and Veronica Clancy to move into a 7-3 advantage.

The Sea kings drew to within 7-5 in the top of the seventh, but Putnam caught a liner and doubled up a runner at first to end the game.

Kent went two for four with two RBIs and Reiss added a single and walk to her double. Putnam singled twice, walked and scored a run. Clancy and Jordan Hartman also scored.

Putnam pitched a complete game, striking out four with two walks and allowed just two earned runs.

The Breakers began their season March 2 against Connelly at their new softball field at Thurston. Putnam went four for four with a home run and threw a complete-game victory, Collins had a pinch-hit, two-run double and Gherardini had three put outs at the plate.

Hunter said that the Breakers' offense is averaging 13 a game so far.

The Laguna starting lineup includes four sophomores and five freshmen. Returning players from last year's team — which Hunter said played four nonleague games and a junior varsity schedule in the Orange Coast League in going 13-5 overall — are: Hartman (1B), Reiss (2B), Kent (SS), Putnam (P), Gherardini (catcher), Clancy (CF), Katie Anderson (3B), Taylor Romatowski (LF) and Bailey Romatowski (RF).

"We've got a very young team and there's three or four girls on varsity who have never played before," Hunter said. "We've got a very good pitcher (Putnam) and in softball, pitching is 'gold.'

"This is a great group of girls who have a dream and they've been waiting to play for a year and a half. They're extremely excited and they have a lot of energy. They're absolutely amazing athletes."

Laguna resumes play Monday with a 3:45 p.m. nonleague home game against Los Amigos at Thurston Field.

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