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Gators come up clutch, beat Foothill in rematch

Green Valley’s softball team appeared to be on the verge of repeating history.

The Gators, shut out by Foothill when the teams met on March 24, had the same problem against the Falcons in the first two innings of Tuesday’s game — the inability to get a clutch hit.

Carly Smith and Desiree Laswell changed that in the third inning, getting consecutive two-out singles to turn a 1-1 tie into a 4-1 lead and send the Gators into sole possession of first place in the Southeast League with a 5-3 home win over the Falcons.

“Our confidence was way up today,” Green Valley coach Lauren Taylor said. “When we faced them earlier this season, we hadn’t played many games. We were ready today.”

Green Valley (19-6, 8-1) managed just six hits and left five runners in scoring position in a 4-0 loss at Foothill last month.

Through two innings Tuesday, the Gators stranded two runners at third and one at second.

Smith, the No. 6 hitter in Green Valley’s deep and talented lineup, broke through with a single to right, chasing home Ali Bodnar with the go-ahead run. Laswell followed, pounding an 0-2 pitch into left-center to score Carly Aughney and Smith, upping the lead to 4-1.

“We haven’t changed our one through eight hitters very often,” Taylor said. “Everyone has really settled into their spot, and it makes us more dangerous.”

Laswell, who transferred to Green Valley from Desert Oasis, went 2-for-3 with three RBIs. Batting seventh in Green Valley’s order, she leads the team with 25 RBIs.

Laswell took care of the rest in the circle, allowing only three hits and striking out nine.

“Desiree has improved greatly,” Taylor said. “You can see that she’s really settled in to being on this team.”

Trailing 5-3, Foothill (14-8, 7-2) had the potential tying run on second base with two outs in the sixth inning, but Laswell ended the threat with a strikeout.

The Gators have won nine straight, allowing only 12 runs in that span as Laswell, Alicia Firelein and Aughney have shared time in the circle, allowing Taylor to match up pitchers against certain opponents.

Bodnar smacked her team-leading fourth home run in the fifth inning for the Gators and was 2-for-3. Aughney also went 2-for-3.

Danielle Belanger had a two-run single in the sixth inning for Foothill.

Contact reporter Bartt Davis at bdavis@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-5230

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