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Concord wraps up second title

July 30, 2001|By TIM YANNI, Sports Writer

CALEXICO — The Concord Glory steamed through the Babe Ruth 12-and-under Pacific Southwest Regional tournament for the second year in a row, capping things with an 8-5 victory over Vision of Yuma here Sunday.

"It's an honor," said Glory coach Kara Sleight. "They were a good team to beat and they definitely had us running scared."

Concord will represent the Pacific Southwest region in the Babe Ruth World Series in Pine Bluff, Ark., beginning Thursday.

"They've been there before and they knew what it takes to get there," Sleight said of her team. "I'm very proud of them."

Glory jumped to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first when Kellie Marshall scored on a bases-loaded walk and Sara Hurlbut scored on an error.

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Vision tied things in the bottom of the second when Veronica Saldana scored on a misfire from catcher Hurlbut to third baseman Jennifer Oranje. Ashley Teal was driven in by Kaylee Renick for the second run.

Things stayed neck and neck until the top of the fifth when Vision sent in Alyssa Rhodes to relieve starting pitcher Nichole Anaya while trailing 5-4.

Oranje started the inning with a triple and was driven in with Nichole Bennett by Malissa Barr on a single and Glory took a 7-4 lead.

Jennifer Senini hit an in-the-park home run to kick off the bottom of the fifth to put up one more run for the Yuma team, but no further runs would score for Vision and Christine Huffman scored on a wild pitch in the top of the sixth for Glory to finalize the score at 8-5.

"We had some scares," said Sleight, "but we all came together."

"Some teams can gel and some teams can't gel," Sleight said. "This team gelled from the beginning."

Jamie Aguiar, who relieved starting pitcher Kimberly Vandervlist in the fifth, got the save for Glory and won the tournament most valuable player award for or her pitching, hitting and fielding.

"She's a natural," Sleight said of Aguiar. "I'm honored to have her on my team."

Sleight added that although she is honored to have all of the girls on her team, she was exceptionally proud of Aguair for her MVP award.

"I'm so happy," said Aguiar, adding that Glory is advancing to the World Series makes it "even better."

"We played with our hearts," said Aguiar.

She added she has high expectations for the World Series competition.

"I know we're going to do a lot better this year," Aguiar explained. "We have a great team."

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