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Brawley softball posts first IVL win

April 17, 2002|By ERIC GALVAN

Sports Writer

BRAWLEY — After three consecutive losses, the Brawley Union High softball team broke into the win column in the Imperial Valley League with a 6-2 victory over Imperial here Tuesday.

After struggling with Imperial through the first five innings, the Wildcats scored four in the sixth.

"It feels good to finally win. And to do it at home makes it even better," said Brawley coach Chris Velasco. "Our hitting is starting to come around and we were just playing like a team.

"We had been in a slump as a team, but we were still working hard and we were able to come around," said Velasco. "I really think this could be the turning point for us. We've got that feeling back in us, so now we just have to get ready for our next game."


Missed Wildcat opportunities and defensive miscues through the first three innings meant neither side was able to get on the scoreboard.

It wasn't until the fourth inning that Brawley took a 2-0 lead. Trisha Fleming led off with a hit and scored on Erin Rutherford's single. Karla Price then singled to score Rutherford.

The Tigers bounced back in the top of the fifth when Samantha Culp and Anica Roche both scored on errors.

That set the stage for Brawley's four-run sixth. Scoring the go-ahead run with one out was Leighan Sudduth, who got on base with a single.

The Wildcats capitalized on Imperial miscues, as Rutherford, Reggie Horta and Price all scored.

Leading Brawley offensively were Fleming, Rutherford and Horta, who all had two hits. Rutherford also had two runs and an RBI.

"We just made poor decisions on defense. We have to know when to go to second and when to go to first for the sure out," said Imperial coach Kim Witte. "We had one out in that inning and instead of going to first, we go to second and it wasn't there. So instead of two outs in that inning with one runner on, both get on and eventually score.

"But we can't get discouraged with this loss. We just have to keep plugging away and just keep our heads up," said Witte.

The loss was Imperial's third in its last four games and drops it to 2-3 in the IVL.

Sudduth pitched a complete game, giving up four hits and striking out one.

"It feels really good to get this win. Every game we go out and play, we just try to do the best we can," said Sudduth. "I think what was hurting us in those last few games was experience. We really don't have much experience on this team, but in games like this players are going to get it.

"I think the difference between this game and the first three was that we were finally able to hit the ball. We hit really well today and were making contact," said Sudduth. "I think we showed that if we hit the ball well we'll be OK. Hopefully we'll be able to continue hitting like this."

Both teams play Friday, with Brawley hosting Central at 3:15 p.m. and Imperial hosting Palo Verde at 4:15 p.m.

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