Top-ranked Granada Hills softball stays unbeaten in the West Valley League with a 4-0 shutout win over No.2 Birmingham


A year after a heartbreaking 12-11 loss to Carson in the Open Division L.A. City Finals, the Granada Hills Highlanders softball team came into this season with a vengeance, leading to a 10-0 start. Ranked No. 1 in the D1 L.A. City Section and No.9 in the state of California, the 18-1 Highlanders were cruising on a nine-game winning streak remaining unbeaten in the West Valley League. Right below them are their league rivals: the No.2 ranked Birmingham Patriots who were also unbeaten in league play, and riding on a seven-game winning streak of their own heading into Wednesday’s home matchup with Granada Hills. In a battle between two of the best pitchers in the city, Granada Hills senior pitcher Addison Moorman outdueled Birmingham senior Rebecca Lozano only allowing one hit on the afternoon as the Highlanders homered in the fifth inning to power their way toward a 4-0 win.

Heading into Wednesday's pitching matchup, Lozano was 5th in the state of California in no-hitters with two, while Moorman was top-10 in the CIF L.A. City Section in ERA. Both pitchers got into a groove with Morgan only allowing her only hit in the first inning. Lozano struck out two batters in the first two innings without surrendering any runs. She ran into a jam in the top of the 3rd inning when she allowed consecutive singles from Granada Hills utility players Lainey Brown and Elysse Diaz. With two outs to go, the Patriots made an acrobatic double play on the next at-bat to end the inning.

Moorman continued to dominate on the mound as she struck out her fourth batter of the afternoon in the bottom of the 3rd inning. The Highlanders loaded the bases in the top of the 4th inning with two outs, but once again failed to convert with runners in scoring position. Birmingham caught a break when a fair batted ball from Highlanders junior outfielder Jocelyn Jimenez hit the runner heading to second base for the final out.

The game remained scoreless into the top of the 5th inning before Brown started off the inning with a triple for the Highlanders. Following a groundout from Diaz, Granada Hills junior Annabella Ramirez emphatically gave her team the lead with a two-run home run to swing the momentum their way. Moorman struck out all three batters in the bottom of the inning before the Highlanders added to their run total in top of the 6th inning.

Granada Hills junior Samantha Esparza began the inning with a single before consecutive errors from the Patriots loaded up the bases with nobody out. On an afternoon where she went 4/4 at the plate, Brown finally knocked in her first run to put the Highlanders up 3-0. After a strikeout from Lozano, Ramirez forced a bases loaded walk on the next at-bat for her third RBI of the contest to give her team a 4-0 lead.

Moorman preserved the shutout in the final two innings to secure the win, finishing the afternoon with seven strikeouts on 84 pitches. In addition to her brilliance on the field, Granada Hills Head Coach Ivan Garcia praised her leadership in the clubhouse. “She’s definitely our leader when she’s out there”, he explained, “she calms everything down, we know we have a fighting chance with her in the circle.”

Birmingham will have one more opportunity for revenge on the road against Highlanders on May 2nd in the final game of the regular season for each team. 

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