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Sophomore pitcher carrying load on mound for tigers

March 19, 2002|By ERIC GALVAN

Sports Writer

When Imperial High School softball pitcher Andrea Thompson was lost for the season to injury, the Tigers' season nearly came to a screeching crash.

The team not only lost its No. 1 pitcher but a senior leader.

Instead of throwing in the towel, Imperial turned to sophomore Lindsay Lugo to carry the load.

Since being named the team's No. 1 pitcher, Lugo has risen to the challenge and has helped Imperial to a 5-3 record, including a 3-1 performance last week.

In that four-game stretch, the 15-year-old sophomore threw in every single inning, struck out 19 and averaged only four hits allowed per game.

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Her most dominating performance came Wednesday as she recorded nine strikeouts and gave up only one hit in a 22-1 thrashing of Calipatria.

"I went into that game pretty strong. Our team was hitting, which made things easier for me, so I wasn't too worried about that," Lugo said.

She followed that performance going 2-1 at the Montgomery tournament in San Diego on Saturday.

Lugo pitched 21 innings Saturday and struck out four in both of the team's wins, over Crawford and Our Lady of Peace.

"The defense was playing really well in those games and we were getting hits," said Lugo. "Everyone just seemed to come together and everyone was making plays out there."

She also did the job at the plate, finishing with four hits, six RBI and four runs over the recent four games.

Lugo is set to lead the Tigers into Imperial Valley League play, where there will be even more pressure on her. Despite that pressure, Imperial coach Kim Witte has no problem sticking with her sophomore pitcher.

"It was a big blow losing Andrea and since then, there's been a lot of pressure on Lindsay, but she's handled it very well," said Witte. "She works really hard, doesn't complain about anything and is always ready to play.

"I've coached her since she was in seventh grade and she just has that demeanor when she's playing. Lindsay just goes out and does her job."

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