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Good time had at alumni game

April 06, 2002|By RICHARD MYERS

Sports Editor

CALEXICO — It didn't matter Saturday that Calexico High's softball team defeated the Bulldog alumni squad 3-1.

What really mattered was that everyone had a good time in the inaugural contest that coach Raul Martinez hopes will be an annual affair.

"Maybe they can teach our girls a few things," Martinez said before the game. After all, some alumni had gone on to successful careers after leaving Calexico.

Take Michelle Briseño, for instance. After graduating from Calexico in 1999 she went on to star at Imperial Valley College.

"She threw a no-hitter for IVC," Martinez said.

Briseño threw two innings on the mound Saturday before yielding the honor to a teammate.

"We had two other pitchers who wanted to throw," Briseño said, explaining why she didn't go longer.

Briseño allowed two runs on two hits and one walk. She struck out four.

Jenny Martinez, who graduated last year, threw the next three innings for the alumni, yielding no runs on two hits and one walk. She fanned two.

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Mariel Martinez, who graduated in 1999, threw one inning of no-hit ball for the alumni, although she did surrender one run off a couple of walks.

The Bulldog alumni managed just two hits off a pair of Calexico hurlers.

Vanessa Ochoa, who graduated in 1998, stroked the alumni team's first hit in the fourth inning, drilling a shot up the middle.

In her first at-bat, Ochoa lined a hard shot to the Calexico second baseman for an out.

"It was fun getting to see some of the people I used to play with," Ochoa said.

The fact Ochoa was one of only two alumni to get a hit wasn't that surprising.

"I play softball a lot, even in the off-season," Ochoa said.

Garnering the alumni team's other hit was Amanda Salgado, who doubled with one out in the top of the seventh inning.

Salgado, who graduated in 1997, smoked a line drive just inside the left field line. She tried to stretch it into a triple but was called out at third base.

"I was safe," Salgado said. "She never even tagged me. All she did was block the bag."

The current Calexico squad looked to blow the game open in the first inning but settled for just a pair of runs.

Iliana Melendez led off by reaching first base on an error. One out later she was at second base on a passed ball. Another passed ball put her at third.

Melendez scored on Christina Rodriguez's infield single behind the second base bag.

A passed ball moved Rodriguez to second and an error put her at third. She scored on another error.

The Bulldog alumni team scored its lone run in the fourth without the benefit of a hit. Briseño got aboard first base on an error, stole second on the next pitch, stole third on the subsequent pitch and scored on a passed ball.

The alumni threatened to take the lead moments later when Ochoa's single, catcher's interference and an error loaded the bases with two outs. A comebacker to the pitcher ended the threat.

The Calexico squad added its final run in the sixth. Eileen Ronquillo walked, moved to second on a passed ball, took third on a wild pitch and scored on a passed ball.

Ronquillo was nearly picked off third base, but the umpire called her safe.

"She was out," Briseño said.

"Those two plays really hurt us," she added, referring to Ronquillo's safe call and Salgado's out call.

"I would have liked to have made it a more competitive game," Briseño said. "With those two calls in our favor, it would have been."

The current Calexico squad managed just four singles — Melendez, Blanca Patino, Rodriguez and Ronquillo each had one.

"The idea was to come out and have some fun," Salgado said. And the girls did just that.

The tone for the game was set in the first inning when alumni third baseman Christina Ramirez kicked a foul ball while trying to field the bunt.

"Hey, no soccer here," a Calexico player yelled from the bench, as Ramirez, a 2001 graduate, flashed a grin.

"We want this game to help prepare us for league," coach Martinez said.

Calexico (4-7 overall, 0-2 Imperial Valley League) plays at 3:15 p.m. Tuesday at Imperial.

"This year league is wide open," Martinez said, noting Central, Southwest, Imperial and Brawley all have solid clubs.

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