The road to the Sunset League softball championship is never an easy one to navigate and for the Huntington Beach Oilers, consecutive road trips to the diamonds of title contenders last week could have been potential roadblocks.
The Oilers, however, passed both tests.
Huntington zoomed into first place in the league standings by winning both games, most recently, taking a 5-2 victory at Edison April 24.
The win came on the heels of a 1-0 shutout win April 22 at defending champ Marina.
Kristina Inouye, a Cal commit, cleared loaded bases by delivering a double in the top of the fifth inning that led to a 4-0 lead. Inouye led Huntington offensively with a three-for-four day. Sammie Vandiver, a Cal State Fullerton commit, had a hit and scored a run, and Alyssa Horescko had a hit, stole two bases and scored a run.
Senior Micaela Vierra (Santa Clara) gave up three hits in a complete-game performance to run her record to 12-1.
Vierra also got the pitching win two days earlier at Marina.
Huntington started the week leading the Sunset pack at 4-0. The Oilers, ranked No. 6 in CIF Southern Section Division 1, were 16-3 overall after winning their sixth consecutive game.
Mckenna Doose had a pair of RBI hits for Edison which slipped to 2-2 in league and 7-8 overall.
"Edison's win was huge for us," said Huntington Coach Jeff Forsberg who missed the game due to his son's wedding. "I give total props to the girls for coming into a tough place to win and playing well. Our coaching staff was awesome. Both Tony Rico and Johnny Martinez are not only great softball minds, but true friends as they stepped up in my absence and kept us pointed in the right direction. I just hope I'm not the Wally Pipp of Huntington Beach High softball with both of them near my side.
"[This is] a good win but a new challenge faces us with Los Al and the [second half] of the league."
Marina, the eighth-ranked team in CIF Southern Section Division 1, picked up its second Sunset win April 24 by blanking Fountain Valley (2-2 league), 4-0. Emili Olague homered and Tera Blanco (15-4) tossed a two-hitter and struck out five for the Vikings, who went to 2-2 in league and 16-6 overall.
Sunset League teams played Tuesday, but scores from those games weren't available at press time.
The second round of Sunset League action gets underway Thursday. At 3:15 p.m., Marina hosts Edison and Fountain Valley plays at Los Alamitos. Huntington hosts Newport Harbor at 6 p.m.
•Ocean View rebounded from a two-game skid by jumping out to a nine-run lead through three innings Friday, and went on to handle host Westminster, 10-3, in Golden West League play. Olivia Russ had three hits and Tobi Salzman and Billi Derluth both had two hits to lead the Seahawks' 12-hit attack. Derluth also recorded her eight pitching win of the season.
Ocean View, ranked ninth in CIF Southern Section Division 4, evened its league record at 2-2 and improved to 14-5 overall.
"I thought we regrouped after a tough loss on Wednesday against Segerstrom and played well," Ocean View Coach Mike McLaughlan said. "Our defense had a great day to go along with our bats."
Ocean View committed a few errors late in its April 23 game at Segerstrom and ended up with a 9-5 loss. Salzman had three hits with Emily Long and Anika Ortiz each had two hits.
The Seahawks start the second half of league play when they travel Friday for a 3:15 p.m. game at Loara.
CIF Weekly Rankings
Softball: Huntington Beach (No. 6, Division 1); Marina (No. 8, Division 1); Ocean View (No. 9, Division 4).