High school softball reigns supreme in Santa Clarita, as local entries Valencia, Saugus and Hart all came through with shutout victories Friday in the first-round of the Southern Section Div. I playoffs. They’re in the Sweet 16 on Tuesday, and the stakes are higher, the pressure more intense and the competition steeper. The biggest surprise was Hart’s 3-0 upset victory over defending champion Royal of Simi Valley. Led by freshman phenom Destiny Rodino (10-8), who held Royal to seven hits, the Indians (17-10) look to parlay the momentum against visiting Norco (21-7) at 3:15 p.m. Tuesday at Newhall Park. Norco, which has won seven in a row, is coming off a 9-0 victory over M.L. King. Saugus, led by pitcher/leading hitter Sarah Hooper, opened with a 2-0 victory visiting Garden Grove. The Centurions (20-9) play at second-seeded Camarillo (26-3) at 3:15 p.m. Tuesday. Hooper is 18-4 with a 1.12 ERA, and she’s batting .372. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBasketball roundup: Sierra Canyon, Birmingham set to face off in tournament quarterfinalsTop-seeded Valencia (27-4), coming off a 1-0 victory over visiting Newbury Park, plays at Bishop Amat (15-12-2) of La Puente. Valencia pitcher Jordan Taylor (26-4) needs one victory to break the Foothill League single-season win record. Her league-record 408 strikeouts puts her 19 shy of Sandy Otgies’ area record of 427 (Newbury Park, 1983). Scott Willis has resigned as Canyon High’s baseball coach after one season of his second stint at the school. He was the Cowboys’ third coach over four seasons, and Canyon hasn’t qualified for the playoffs nor finished with a winning record since 2002. Saugus junior girls’ track standout Shannon Murakami has made an early verbal commitment to UCLA. Hart boys’ basketball standout Josh Herman, considered one of the Foothill League’s top outside shooters, has signed with The Master’s College. Herman is expected to compete for playing time as a freshman this winter. In other Master’s news, baseball player Tom Barrington has been named a Golden State Athletic Conference Scholar Athlete, and teammate Phil Seston has been named to the All-GSAC team. Seston, who played at Desert Christian High of Lancaster and Antelope Valley College, batted .342 with 12 home runs this season. His career total of 31 home runs ranks No. 2 on the college’s all-time list. Former Saugus baseball standout Jeff Knosp, a fast outfielder who batted close to .400 as a sophomore at College of the Canyons this season, is among several Cougars named first-team All-Western State Conference. The others are Brian Chavez and Kyle Eveland. The second-team honorees are Nick Margis, Trevor Davidson, Mike McCravey and Mike Robbins. The Saugus High football program plays host to a kids clinic on June 27-28 for youngsters 9-15. For info, e-mail Rick Walroth: [email protected] Steve Borden, a former Hart boys’ basketball standout who’s earned fame as professional wrestler Sting, is in the midst of a successful comeback. The former six-time World Championship Wrestling world champion is a key member of new wrestling organization TNA, operated by Jerry Jarrett, who gave Sting his first break in the wrestling business 20 years ago. “This is about me. I’m giving back to the sport of professional wrestling that has been good to me,” Borden said. Gerry Gittelson’s column appears in the Daily News three times a week. He can be reached at (661) 25705218 or [email protected] local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!