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Surge leads Imperial to 13-3 win over Red Hawks

March 10, 2002|By ERIC GALVAN

Sports Writer

IMPERIAL — Down 3-2 heading into the bottom of the fourth inning, all the Imperial High softball team needed was one hit to spark an 11-run explosion over two innings in a 13-3 victory over Mountain Empire here Friday.

Imperial, which won the game after five innings because of the 10-run rule, scored six runs in the fourth and tacked on five in the fifth, getting the 11 runs on six hits.

"I always tell the girls that hitting is contagious. Once one girl gets a hit, the next girl goes up wanting to get a hit and it's just really like a snowball effect. That was the case today," said Imperial coach Kim Witte. "When they see a teammate hit the ball, then they have confidence. Once that happened today, the momentum seemed to shift. Our girls were starting to swing at better pitches and were more patient at the plate."

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The Tigers also were opportunistic, taking advantage of seven Mountain Empire errors.

Through the first three innings Imperial recorded only one hit but still held a 2-0 lead after putting a deuce on the scoreboard in the second.

After holding the Red Hawks hitless and scoreless through the first three innings, Imperial pitcher Lindsay Lugo got knocked around a little in the fourth, giving up three hits, a walk and three runs. The three-run fourth inning gave Mountain Empire a 3-2 advantage entering the bottom of the frame.

The Tigers' offense then came alive and hammered Red Hawk pitcher Chelsea McKeever for six runs in the fourth.

Leading the offensive assault was Amy Holtz, who connected on a three-run double that scored Rhea Deal, Ashley Melvin and Anica Roche. Holtz later scored on a Mountain Empire error. Also scoring in the fourth were Melanie Medina and Lugo.

"We started slow in the beginning but then we just came together later in the game and finished strong," said Holtz, who finished 1-for-3 with a double, three RBI and two runs.

The Red Hawks couldn't stop the bleeding as Imperial continued to bang away in the fifth, scoring five more runs to cap the game.

Lugo led the offense in the fifth, knocking in Holtz and Roche and scoring the game-winning run on a Victoria Mazon double. Medina and Samantha Culp scored the first two runs of the fifth for Imperial.

Medina finished 1-for-1 with three runs and Lugo finished 1-for-3 with three runs.

Lugo picked up the win on the mound, going five innings, giving up three hits and three earned runs and striking out five.

"We didn't really start strong, but we knew we had to pull it together," said Lugo. "After the fourth inning, we just came out stronger and started getting hits.

"I really didn't get down on myself after that inning because I knew we'd be able to get it together," said Lugo. "Once I got that run support, that just made things easier for me."

Imperial hosts Calipatria at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Coachella 9, Holtville2

Coachella 13, Holtville 8

COACHELLA — The Holtville High softball team was swept in a doubleheader by Coachella High, falling 9-2 in the first game and 13-8 in the second here Saturday.

Taking the loss in the first game was Lauren Huyler, who pitched five innings, gave up seven earned runs.

Michelle Strahm finished 2-for-3 with a double and Jessica Young finished 2-for-4 with an RBI and a double for Holtville.

In game two, Strahm took the loss, allowing six earned runs in seven innings. She finished 4-for-5 with an RBI. Marizela Valenzuela was 2-for-4 with an RBI for the Vikings.

Holtville (5-3) hosts Christian at 3:15 p.m. Tuesday.

Montgomery tournament

SAN DIEGO — The Brawley Union High softball team kicked off its play in the Montgomery tournament here Saturday by going 1-1 in its two games.

Brawley lost its opener 8-0 to Christian. Taking the loss on the mound was Leighan Sudduth.

In the second game, the Wildcats blanked Horizon 6-0. Stephanie Murray earned the win on the mound for Brawley (4-2). Sudduth finished the game with two hits.

In other tournament action, Calexico High kicked off the tournament with two losses, falling 6-2 to Castle Park and 7-1 to Our Lady of Peace.

Taking the loss against Castle Park was Marisol Cuevas, who went six innings, gave up nine hits and walked two.

Eileen Ronquillo took the loss in the second game, going three innings for Calexico (0-3).

Both teams will continue tournament action Saturday in San Diego.

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