Vikings knocked from first round

May 19, 2001|By CHRIS GRANT, Sports Editor

HOLTVILLE — For the Holtville High School softball team it was a case of deja vú all over again.

One year after being knocked from the San Diego Section playoffs by a team from Valley Center, the Vikings fell to a team from Valley Center 4-2 in the first round of the San Diego Section Division III playoffs here Saturday.

"We came out and didn't play to our ability," said Holtville coach David Rodgers. "It happened last year also. They're a good team and they play in a good league."

Things seemed as if they would be different for the Vikings early in the game. Michelle Strahm led off the game with a single for Holtville. Three batters later she crossed home plate when Mykell Johnston grounded out to shortstop. The run spotted Viking starter Lauren Huyler a 1-0 lead after an inning. It was a lead Holtville would not hold for long.


The Jaguars scored twice in the top of the second.

"We made a few mistakes that let them back in the game," added Rodgers. "Good teams take advantage of that."

Trailing 2-1, the mistakes took hold of the Vikings again in the third. An error on Huyler and a passed ball coupled with a hit batter resulted in two Valley Center runs leaving Holtville down 4-1.

After Jaguar hurler Lacey Craft set the Vikings down in order in the third, Holtville seemed to be getting to her in the fourth.

Craft walked Johnston to lead off the inning. Johnston took second on a passed ball. Craft settled down to retire the next two hitters before Regan Rothfleisch reached on an error. Cindy Lopez followed with a single to plate Johnston and push Rothfleisch to third. Craft walked the next hitter, Marisella Valenzuela, to load the bases. Holtville appeared to be on its way to coming back but Craft fanned the next hitter, Strahm, to end the inning with Holtville trailing 4-2.

The Vikings had one more chance in the fifth. Huyler led off the inning with a single and took second on a wild pitch. She moved to third on a ground out, but with two outs was unable to come home when Claudia Lopez grounded out to second to end the inning.

Holtville finishes the season 13-7-1 and despite the early conclusion to his team's season, Rodgers remains optimistic. His entire team is comprised of juniors, which means a veteran Viking squad should return next season.

"It makes it a little better," he said. "We can plan for next year. The girls haven't played to their capability all season and if we can get them to do that next year we'll be in good shape."

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