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Valenzuela pulls Vikes past Eagles

May 05, 2001|By JON HINSHAW, Sports Writer

HOLTVILLE — Amid scattered hits and a good defensive game, the Holtville High School softball team capitalized with a bases-loaded double by Marisela Valenzuela for the game's only scoring in a 3-0 win over Southwest here Friday.

Valenzuela's three-run double in the second inning — part of her 3-for-3 day at the plate — lifted the Vikings (6-3 Imperial Valley League) out of a two-game losing streak and into the final stretch of the IVL with three games remaining. Holtville starting pitcher Lauren Huyler punctuated her teammate's big hit by limiting the Eagles (4-5) to two hits in the remaining five innings.

"I was really happy with our performance," Viking coach David Rogers said. "We just need to keep coming out and playing the best we can. We made key plays today when we needed and we got some timely hitting by Marisela."

After a quick first inning and a one-two-three top of the second by Huyler, Eagle starter Monica Lopez began the bottom of the second inning with two straight walks to Mykell Johnston and Claudia Lopez. Two outs later, Lopez hit Cindy Lopez to load the bases and Valenzuela lined Lopez's first pitch over the centerfielder's head to bring in three runs.


"I just kept my eye on the ball," said Valenzuela, who was Holtville's No. 9 hitter in the lineup. "The situation I was in I like the most. With two outs it helps me concentrate at the plate."

The 3-0 lead was all Huyler needed as she faced just one batter over the minimum in the next three innings. The only batter she allowed to reach base was Lauren Miramontes, who walked in the top of the third.

Southwest's Lopez continued to struggle with her control in the bottom of the third and fourth innings as she allowed five runners to reach base.

Holtville left two stranded in the third with one out and left the bases loaded in the fourth with one out as well.

Southwest got something going in the top of the sixth after Lauren Miramontes and Andy Miramontes both singled with one out. Mary Sanders grounded a ball to Huyler in the next at-bat that forced out Lauren Miramontes at third for the second out and Andy Miramontes was thrown out on a steal attempt at third base by the Vikings' Jessica Young to end the threat.

"I don't think we hit the ball well enough and that's been our problem all year," Eagle coach Stephanie Escalera said. "The girls went out and did a good job, but we got no hitting. We are going to come back with the bats hard because this season isn't over yet."

Holtville again flexed its offense against Lopez with two outs in the bottom of the sixth inning with two singles from Cindy Lopez and Valenzuela. Lopez then walked Michelle Strahm to load the bases and brought Huyler to the plate.

Huyler popped up a Lopez pitch that looked like it would drop in for a bloop single in shallow centerfield and drive in two, but Mary Sanders had other plans. Sanders ran down the fly ball with a diving catch to end the threat. Unfortunately for the Eagles, the excitement of the spectacular catch couldn't carry over on offense and Huyler faced just four batters in the top of the seventh to put the game away. Huyler finished with a complete game, allowed three hits, walked one and struck out three.

The Vikings will be back in action and remain at home at 4:15 p.m. Tuesday against Calexico, while the Eagles will take Tuesday off before traveling to Palo Verde for a game at 4:15 p.m. Thursday.

Central 1, Palo Verde 0

Behind another strong pitching performance from Maria Perez, the Central Union High softball team squeaked out a 1-0 10-inning win over Palo Verde High in El Centro on Friday to remain in first place in the Imperial Valley League.

Perez finished with 14 strikeouts and gave up only two hits and one walk.

With Rachel Montalvo on base, Marissa Guzman connected on a hit to score Montalvo and end the game in the 10th.

Said Spartan coach Sandy Montalvo: "I was very pleased with everybody's performance. Everybody on the team contributed in this win."

Central (7-1 IVL) hosts Imperial at 4:15 p.m. Tuesday.

Imperial 7, Calexico 1

CALEXICO — Pitcher Lindsay Lugo improved to 6-3 on the year in leading the Imperial High softball team to a 7-1 IVL win over Calexico High here Friday.

Leading Imperial (2-7 IVL) were Rhea Deal, who went 2-for-4, and Amy Holtz, who finished 1-for-3.

The Calexico defense made eight errors.

Said Imperial coach Kim Witte: "Our girls hit the ball hard and made them make mistakes. I think we made some great defensive plays when they were in position to score."

Calexico will play at Holtville at 4:15 p.m. Friday.

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