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Makena Martin, Taylor Askland power Palo Verde softball

Makena Martin said she had been waiting to break out at the plate. She had only one hit in Thursday’s game, but the Palo Verde junior made it count.

Martin had a hand in all the runs of a four-run second inning, smacking a bases-clearing triple and then scoring as the Panthers rolled to a 7-0 win at Arbor View.

“I definitely went in with the mentality to hit it as hard as I can, hit a line drive, score someone,” Martin said. “I was hoping it was (going over the fence), but I was happy with the triple.”

Palo Verde (11-4, 3-1 Northwest League) started off the second with three infield hits. Senior Cara Beatty beat out a chopper, senior Ally Snelling reached on a bunt and junior Lauryn Barker loaded the bases.

Then Martin stepped to the plate and whacked it over the left fielder’s head and to the wall for an easy triple.

Once the Panthers had the lead, there was no way they were going to lose it. Not with the way junior Taylor Askland was pitching.

Askland, who has pitched in all four of the Panthers’ league games, fired her second Northwest League complete game of the season and first shutout, allowing just four hits and striking out five Aggies (6-6-1, 0-3). She did not allow a runner to reach third base.

“We’ve been pushing; it’s been a long week,” Askland said after the Panthers finished a stretch of five games in three days in California last week. “It’s been hard, but I had to mentally be there and push myself. We all did.”

Over the past eight days, Askland has pitched six times between a three-game series with Shadow Ridge and the California tournament. To Martin, that makes Monday’s performance that much more impressive.

“I’m really proud of her,” Martin said.

Palo Verde added three runs in the seventh inning to put the game out of reach. Beatty went 3-for-4 with two runs scored and Snelling went 3-for-4 with a double and a run scored for the Panthers.

Askland did not give up more than one hit to any Arbor View player, and did not allow an extra-base hit.

Contact Justin Emerson at jemerson@reviewjournal.com or (702) 387-2944. Follow @J15Emerson on Twitter.

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