Showing no mercy against Anaheim on Tuesday, the Laguna Beach softball team dominated the visiting Colonists, 16-2, in a game that was called after five innings at Thurston Middle School.
Freshman Halle Redfearn hit her first home run of the season, Jordan Hartman went four for five with four runs batted in and freshman Katyn Ott went three for four and scored three runs. Haley Putnam struck out eight and gave up four hits as the Breakers ran their record to 6-4.
"Haley Putnam is our team captain and she ... set the tone for the game," Laguna Coach Alan Ludloff said. "We were balanced offensively scoring in every inning. If we continue to play defense like we did today, we will be tough to beat."
The Breakers proved tough to beat March 16 when they hosted Oxford Academy of Cypress in nonleague play. They routed the Patriots, 7-0. Putnam and freshman Jen Sorenson hit home runs in the game. Redfearn also thew a shutout and limited the Patriots to three hits while striking out six.
On Tuesday, Laguna starts its Orange Coast League schedule with a 3:30 p.m. home game against Estancia at Thurston. It's one of three games next week for the Breakers, who travel to Orange Coast College to face league foe Calvary Chapel at 4 p.m. Thursday and host La Quinta in a 3:30 p.m. nonleague game on March 30.
"For us to contend for the league championship, we need to continue to get better on defense and work on pitch selection at the plate," Ludloff said. "It is nice to see all the girls are contributing at this stage of our season. Our bottom of the order is getting on base just as much as the top of the order.
"The biggest difference this year is the team chemistry. They cheer for each other constantly throughout the game and pick each other up when we are down. The girls know we are playing for the name on the front of the jersey, not the name on the back."
The Breakers registered their first Orange Coast League victory Wednesday by shutting out host Costa Mesa, 4-0. Sophomore Grant Wilhelm struck out 13 to run his record to 3-1 and Kristian Rieckhoff had a key, two-RBI single in the top of the sixth inning.
The win put Laguna at 1-2 in league and evened its overall record at 4-4.
"Today was a much-needed win," said Laguna Coach Mike Bair, whose team was coming off a 7-0 loss on Tuesday to Calvary Chapel. "We played good defense, had timely hits and Grant Wilhelm pitched an excellent game for us."
Laguna had opened league play March 16 and dropped a 10-6 decision to visiting Estancia in a game that went eight innings. Robbie McInerny hit a pair of solo home runs and Steven Harrison also had a solo homer. Wilhelm came up big in the bottom of the seventh with a run-scoring hit that tied the score and sent the game into extra innings.
Laguna had trailed, 5-0, earlier in the game.
"A real tough loss for us" Bair said. "We did such a great job fighting back and just couldn't put the finishing touches on Estancia."
Laguna travels Friday for a 3:15 p.m. league game at Godinez. On Tuesday, the Breakers host Costa Mesa at 3:15 p.m.