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Concord advances to title game

July 28, 2001|By TIM YANNI, Sports Writer

CALEXICO — Jennifer Oranje had three hits and three RBI and Sara Hurbut added a hit with two RBI as Glory of Concord defeated Vision of Yuma 15-6 in the Babe Ruth 12-and-under regional softball tournament here Saturday.

Glory will compete in tonight's final round to defend the regional championship crown it wore last year.

"It came down to the pitching," explained Glory coach Kara Sleight.

"We have a lot of variety," she added, explaining eight of the 14 girls on her team can pitch.

Sleight said Vision played a good game and she felt relieved to come away with the win.

"The score didn't mean anything," said Sleight. "It could have gone either way."

Glory led 4-3 going into the fifth inning but exploded for nine runs in the inning to take a commanding lead.

Sleight said the rally helped calm her players.

"This team puts a lot of weight on its shoulders," Sleight said, adding the extended lead helped lift some of that burden.

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Oranje said she is excited her team is advancing to the final and she is looking forward to some tough competition tonight.

"I don't want to play a team that's easy to beat," Oranje said. "I want the top competition."

She said she wants her team to keep up with its top-notch softball.

"We just need to get our heads focused," said Oranje. "We can't take our heads out of the game."

At 12 years old, Oranje is in her first year with the Glory and she said she is excited to play for the regional championship.

Sleight said her team was not greatly affected by the 11-hour drive to Calexico from Concord, but she conceded the heat is getting to her players.

"We don't have this heat," she explained. "We're used to playing in the rain."

Glory will defend its championship against a team to be decided at 7 tonight at Legion Field in Calexico. If Glory loses, a second game will be played to decide the championship.

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