Valley stars take tourney opener

August 03, 2001|By ERIC GALVAN, Sports Writer

CALEXICO — Heading into the 2001 16-and-under Pacific Southwest softball regional tournament, the Imperial Valley all-stars expressed concerns about the team's offense.

The Westside all-star team from Phoenix ran smack into the Valley's "lack" of offense as it fell 11-1 in six innings via the 10-run rule in the first round of the tournament at Legion Field here Thursday.

But it wasn't just the Valley's offense, as Nicky Carrion held Westside to only two hits.

"Offensively I knew we had the hitters to do something like this," said Carrion, who finished with a hit and an RBI. "But coming in, we really didn't know what to expect because we had never seen them before. People were talking about how our offense wasn't really that good, but I had a feeling that we were better than what people were saying. And we came out here and proved that we do have a pretty good offense."


One of the biggest guns for the Valley stars was Stephanie Murray, who finished 4-for-4 with a triple and two RBIs.

"For myself, I really didn't expect to do as well as I did. But we all came in with a lot of confidence knowing that we could play well," said Murray. "I think how we did will carry over to our next game. Hopefully we can keep it going."

Also contributing to the Valley offensive assault were Amber Flores with two hits and two RBIs and Andrea Thompson with two hits, including a home run.

If the Valley team can point to one aspect that made the difference it was its ability to capitalize on Westside's mistakes. Westside committed six errors in the first four frames, which led to five Valley runs.

The Valley all-stars jumped to a 7-0 lead after two innings, giving Carrion some breathing room to work her stuff.

She struck out seven of the first 11 batters she faced and didn't allow a hit until the fourth inning.

Carrion finished with no earned runs, two hits allowed and 10 strikeouts.

"I really surprised myself with how well I did," said Carrion. "I thought that I'd be able to do pretty good, but not as well as I ended up doing. Before the game we were all psyched up for this. And I really felt that we could dominate them and we did."

Added Valley coach Alex Peralta: "Our girls really came together in this game and just played as a team. The first game of a tournament is always the most important and it was good to start it with a win."

Next in line for the Valley will be a date with the Pearl City all-stars from Hawaii at 9 tonight at Legion Field in Calexico.

In the tournament's first game, Yuma hammered Concord 15-0, closing the game in five innings via the 10-run rule.

Andrea Renteria picked up the win for Yuma, striking out eight in three innings.

Concord will play Westside at 7 tonight and Yuma will play Saturday against the winner of Imperial Valley/Pearl City.

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