Huntington Beach, Marina and Edison picked up victories Tuesday at the Laguna Hills Tournament, sending all three on to the semifinals.
The Oilers were impressive in posting an 8-0 shutout over host Laguna Hills. The Vikings took care of Dana Hills, 9-3, and the Chargers led all the way in defeating Northwood, 3-1. Tournament games were played at Alicia Park in Mission Viejo.
Nataly Salazar hit a home run, her second of the season, and drove in three runs and Emily Stoner homered with two runs batted in to power Huntington's offense against Laguna Hills. Stoner has three home runs on the season.
Sophomore right-hander Micalea Vierra tossed a two-hitter and struck out 12 to record her third consecutive shutout in improving to 4-0. In a previous tournament game, the Oilers blanked Trabuco Hills, 4-0, as Vierra struck out nine.
By improving to 8-1 after Tuesday's win, Huntington Coach Jeff Forsberg said the program is off to its best start in 15 years.
"The girls are starting to believe that they can compete with anyone this year," Forsberg said. "Our pitching gives us a chance every day out and we have a lineup that can match up with better teams. Vierra has been stellar and has been dominating games like Amanda Horowitz (now at Boston College) used to. We are getting offense, one through nine, in the order with Emily Stoner and Raegan Zschach leading us.
"It's been a great start, great for the program and we have a great group of focused, team-oriented girls to coach. I just need to stay out of he way and let it continue."
Marina, ranked third in CIF Southern Section Division 1, never trailed in its 9-3 win over Dana Hills and improved to 6-0 with the victory. Sydnee Cable led the Vikings on offense with a triple and three RBIs. Tera Blanco (6-0) went the distance for the win. Blanco also had a hit and has now hit in each of Marina's six games. She has either had a hit, walked, or been hit by the pitch in all but one plate appearance this season, assistant coach Michelle Spencer said.
Edison moved to 4-0 with its 3-1 win over Northwood. Madison Hickman tripled among two hits and had three RBIs and Sammy Cordova got the win.
Huntington took on Marina and Edison battled Orange Lutheran in Wednesday's semifinal games. The scores weren't available at press time.
The tournament continues Thursday at Alicia Park.
The Barons took sixth place at the 42-team Bullhead City Tournament of Champions in Laughlin, Nev. The tournament concluded Saturday.
Fountain Valley won its first two games and finished 3-2 overall. In a 5-1 opening win over Rio Rancho of New Mexico, the Barons didn't score until the fifth inning when Emily Brucelas singled and was forced home on a bases loaded walk. The Barons scored their final four runs in the sixth, highlighted by a three-run home run by Khailey Campos. Senior Cerissa Rivera pitched six innings and gave up four hits and struck out seven without a walk.
Fountain Valley took its second game, 4-0, over Clovis. Brucelas went two for three with two home runs, Brenda Bott went two for four with a home run and Mercedes Brito had a run-scoring double. Rivera threw a no-hitter with 13 strikeouts and no walks in six innings. Madi Weathers earned the save with two strikeouts and a hit in the seventh inning.
The Barons suffered their first loss, 4-0, to a Norco team that went on to win the tournament title. Bott doubled and had two of the Barons' four hits. Rivera suffered her first loss.
Fountain Valley rebounded to down Riverside Poly, 3-1. In the third inning, Campos had a two-run double and Bott, who went two for three, hit a solo home run. Madi Perez notched the win, striking out four with three hits in four innings. Weathers finished in the circle.
In the tournament's fifth-place game, the Barons fell, 4-2, to Lakewood. Brucelas and Campos hit back-to-back home runs in the fourth inning.
Fountain Valley (8-2) began the week ranked 10th in CIF Division 1.