The Ocean View High softball team is peaking at the perfect time.
Ocean View moved to 5-0 in Golden West League play by winning three games in the past week to run its win streak to eight games. The Seahawks have used a potent offense and the standout pitching of senior Brittany Hitchcock to earn the three victories and secure first place in league.
On Monday, Ocean View defeated visiting Westminster, 13-0. The University of Hawaii-bound Hitchcock pitched a one-hit shutout for her 10th win of the season. She was aided by a Seahawks offense that racked up 18 hits, including three each by Tobi Salzman, Kristin Nance, Anika Ortiz and Olivia Russ.
Hitchcock and the Seahawks were even better Friday. Hitchcock pitched a perfect game and the Seahawks amassed 20 hits in a 19-0 rout of Santa Ana. With Hitchcock getting 12 strikeouts, Nance and Ortiz had four hits apiece and Salzman, Russ, Erika Jason, Emily Long and Cassie Baughman all had two hits.
On April 18, Ocean View registered a key league win by beating Loara, 2-1. Hitchcock threw a three-hitter and Russ and Long both had timely hits for the Seahawks.
Seahawks Coach Mike McLaughlan said Hitchcock previously took prefect games into two other league contests and ended up with a one-hitter on both occasions. She also threw a no-hitter against Westminster on April 4.
During the Seahawks' eight-game win streak, Nance has 18 hits, Jason and Ortiz both have 16 hits, Hitchcock has 14 hits and Salzman has 12 hits.
"The 2012 season started out with a lot of high expectations, but with early injuries and a tough preseason schedule we stumbled out of the gate," McLaughlan said. "Once we became healthy we turned things around and are playing like we thought we could."
Ocean View next at 3:15 p.m. Wednesday at Orange.
The Sunset League race grew tighter following Tuesday's games. Los Alamitos handed Edison its first loss by beating the visiting Chargers, 2-1, Marina scored a 5-0 win at Huntington Beach and Fountain Valley took care of visiting Newport Harbor, 9-2.
Los Al scored two runs in the first off Sammy Cordova to take an early lead on Edison, then held on to move into a first-place tie with the Chargers. Both teams are 4-1 in league.
Edison Coach Josh Musselman said that Cordova, who fell to 18-3, was "lights out," after the opening inning. The Chargers had the tying run stationed at third base in the top of the seventh when the game ended.
The teams play at Edison on the final day of the regular season May 10.
"Sunset is the premier league for a reason, and the reason is [that] each game is tough and competitive," Musselman said.
Marina ran its Sunset record to 3-2 and overall mark to 13-6 with its 5-0 win over Huntington. Sophomore Tera Blanco (11-4) hit a two-run home run in the opening inning and also got the pitching win and her fifth shutout victory of the season. Junior Justice Walker and sophomore Kaitlyn Lanksbury had hits and Walker and freshman Jamie Zschach led the defense for Huntington, which fell to 1-4 in league and 13-9 overall.
Fountain Valley (17-7) also moved to 3-2 in league play by beating Newport Harbor, 9-2. Brenda Bott had two hits, including a home run and three runs batted in, Khailey Campos had two hits and two RBIs, Tera Robinson had two hits and Victoria Brito, Kelli Tatum, Randi Fehser and Cerissa Rivera all had an RBI. Rivera also struck out seven and two-hit the Sailors in running her record to 13-6. The senior has 172 strikeouts and a 1.59 earned run average.
In Sunset games played April 19, Edison downed visiting Marina, 12-2, Fountain Valley took care of Los Alamitos, 5-4, and Huntington blanked Newport Harbor, 4-0.
In Sunset League games at 3:15 p.m. Thursday, Edison is at Newport Harbor, Fountain Valley hosts Huntington Beach and Marina travels to Los Alamitos. At 3:15 p.m. Tuesday, Edison hosts Fountain Valley, Huntington goes to Los Alamitos and Marina plays at Newport Harbor.