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Spartan senior shutting out competition on the mound

March 12, 2002|By ERIC GALVAN
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Sports Writer

Coming off a 3-0 season-opening loss to Palm Desert on Wednesday, the Central Union High softball team needed to get back on track.

So as in years past, Central turned to its No. 1 pitcher. But instead of looking to the now- graduated Maria Hansen-Perez to mow down the opposition, the Spartans went to senior Nicky Carrion.

After giving up five hits against Palm Desert, Carrion gave up only three total hits in the first two games of the Montgomery tournament in San Diego on Saturday.

In the team's tournament opener, the 18-year-old gave up two hits, striking out seven as the Spartans edged Mar Vista 1-0.

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She was equally impressive against Clairemont, pitching another shutout, giving up only one hit and striking out three.

"I thought our defense played really good out there. There wasn't any fences where we played, so that made things tougher on the outfielders," said Carrion. "But I thought in both those games our defense was looking great."

After a tough outing against Palm Desert it could've been easy for Carrion to get down on herself, but instead of sulking she shook off that first performance and came back strong over the weekend.

"I think that first game of the season we were all a little nervous because it was the first game of the year," said Carrion. "But then this weekend, it was just different. We were all ready to play and just having fun out there and not really worrying about anything."

In every one of those games, what hurt the Spartans wasn't Carrion's pitching but Central's offense, or lack thereof. That lack of offense may put more pressure on Carrion to help carry the team.

"It would definitely be a little easier if we would score earlier instead of waiting until late in the game," said Carrion. "I try not to think about that, because I know I wasn't hitting, either.

"But our offense is just something we have to keep working on. Yeah, I'd like for us to do better offensively, but if we can't, I won't feel any added pressure on me. For me, I'm just going out there and having fun."

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