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Defensive struggles cost Arabs

April 16, 2002|By ERIC GALVAN

Sports Writer

It was the same old story for the Imperial Valley College softball team against Grossmont at IVC on Monday as the Arabs again killed themselves with errors, falling 8-0 in Pacific Coast Conference action.

IVC committed six errors after entering the game averaging only 2.7 per contest. What essentially did in the Arabs was a three-run second inning by Grossmont in which IVC committed four errors.

"It's like the same thing over and over again. When we lose, it seems like we make a lot of mental mistakes and commit a lot of errors," said IVC coach Jill Lerno. "When we're winning it's because we play solid defense and we're limiting our errors. But for some reason, we just can't play solid defense game in and game out."


It wasn't just the Arab gloves that were in a funk. IVC was held in check by Griffin pitcher Margaret Hipwell, who pitched a complete game and allowed only three hits.

If there was one player who did show up offensively for the Arabs it was Olga Noris, who recorded all three hits, going 3-for-3 with two singles and a triple. Noris improved her batting average to .391, up from .369 entering the game.

"In a situation like this, all I can do is just do my own job. I just go up to the plate and do the best that I can," said Noris. "If I'm doing well, then I just try to keep it going."

Unfortunately for her, it didn't rub off on her teammates as they were shut down by Hipwell.

Having her share of struggles was IVC starting pitcher Maria Hansen-Perez, who allowed 10 hits, five earned runs, walked three and struck out five.

"I thought Maria pretty much dominated. The defense just kept making mistakes," said Noris. "She pitched a really good game. We just weren't able to get any outs when we needed them."

The loss drops the Arabs to 17-13 overall and 5-6 in the PCC. IVC will be back in PCC action Wednesday as it plays at Southwestern in Chula Vista at 3 p.m.

"This has been a long season for us. We've had our ups and we've had our downs and right now, we're in the middle of one of those down periods," said Lerno. "But we can't just give up and throw in the towel. We still have a few more games left in this season and we still have a shot at making the postseason.

"I know there's a few girls on this team that are tired of this and can't wait for the season to end, but we have to keep pressing on," said Lerno. "I've been saying it all year, and I'll keep saying that this team has the potential to be very good. It's just a matter of everyone buying into the system and wanting to be successful. If they can do that, and hopefully they'll do it soon, then we can end the season on a strong note and make the playoffs."

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