Softball: Eagles no-hit Imperial

March 22, 2001|By JON HINSHAW, Sports Writer

Two Southwest High School softball pitchers combined for a no-hitter in El Centro on Wednesday and helped the Eagles earn their first IVL win of the year, a 3-0 decision over Imperial.

Southwest freshman Arynne Valdez pitched six shutout innings and Monica Lopez closed the contest in the seventh by taking down the Tigers in order. Valdez struck out two and walked five.

"I think our defense played really well," said Valdez of an Eagle squad that has had fielding problems. "We just wanted to win and we played well. I just let my defense do all the work."

Valdez faced just two batters over the minimum in the first three innings as Southwest grabbed a 2-0 lead in the first and never relinquished it.


The Eagles' Jessica Conway got her team on the scoreboard with an RBI single scoring Mary Sanders. Patricia Enders then lifted a fly ball to left field that was misplayed and Melissa Frausto scored for a 2-0 lead.

Imperial starter Lindsay Lugo settled down after the first inning and kept the Eagles in check. Lugo yielded one hit in the second, third and fourth innings, but the Tiger offense couldn't figure out Valdez.

"We're just not hitting the ball this year," Imperial coach Kim Witte said. "If you can't hit the ball you can't win the ball game."

Southwest (2-7 overall, 1-1 IVL) added a run in the fifth inning as the first two hitters rapped singles off Lugo. With Frausto and Conway on second and first, Enders hit what looked to be a double play but Imperial's middle infielders let the ball scoot through and Frausto scored.

Lugo then struck out Janai Willams and, after another error, induced a double-play line-out from Andrea Miramontes.

The Tigers (2-2, 0-2 IVL) loaded the bases with two outs in the sixth as Lugo and Andrea Aguirre walked and Ashlee Taylor got aboard via an error. Valdez, however, got Andie Fernandez to foul out to Conway at first base to end the threat.

"We've been struggling with our defense and we had a couple of errors today," Southwest coach Stephanie Escalera said. "But we're improving and we didn't make the errors in tight situations.

"Our defense will turn around, but I really think our offense will be explosive," she added. "Our girls are young but as they see more teams and more pitchers they'll pick it up and that will help us a lot."

Southwest returns to action Friday when it travels to La Quinta at 3:15 p.m. The Tigers begin play Friday at the Palo Verde tournament, an event Witte hopes will turn around her squad.

"It will be up to the girls," she said. "They can stay down and hang their heads or they can turn it around and learn from their losses. They can quit now or show everyone how tough they are."

Central 1, Cibola 0,

eight innings

It took eight innings in El Centro on Wednesday but the Central Union High School softball team edged Cibola High of Yuma 1-0.

Monica Sandoval had one of the Spartans' three hits in the bottom of the eighth frame and it went for an RBI, scoring Jennifer Ramirez, who got aboard via an error. Central also got hits from Maria Perez and Claudia Maldonado.

Perez yielded just two hits as she pitched all eight innings for the victory. Perez struck out eight and walked one.

Central (3-3) will remain at home for its next contest, against Kofa of Yuma at 3:15 p.m. Friday.

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