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Eagles take over first place in IVL

May 12, 2002|By ERIC GALVAN

Sports Writer

It wasn't supposed to be this easy. At least it shouldn't have been this easy.

What was hyped as a matchup of the Imperial Valley League's two best softball teams, Southwest High and Palo Verde, who were tied for first place in league with 7-2 records, turned out to be a laugher as Southwest cruised to an 11-1 rear-kicking in six innings in El Centro on Friday.

"We knew it was an important game and we knew how big this was," said the Eagles' only senior, Melissa Frausto, who scored twice. "Everyone was just really pumped for this. Before the game I actually had a feeling that we all would play well."

Saying Southwest played well would be an understatement. The Eagles played well to the tune of 15 hits, one error and only four hits allowed.

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Considering what happened the last time the two met, Friday's performance was about as impressive as the Eagles have looked in league this year.

On April 16 in Blythe, Southwest was only able to muster four hits, score one run and committed three errors, including one in the bottom of the seventh inning that allowed the Yellowjackets to score the game-winning run in a 2-1 victory.

"I think the difference between this game and that last game was that we played as a team and the girls had a lot of fun," said Eagle coach Stephanie Niebla. "Today everything came together. And really, I wasn't surprised with how we did. I've said it all year our bats are what gets us through the games and today we proved that."

Leading the Southwest hit parade were Frausto, and Melissa Lerno, who each had three hits. Jessica Conway added two hits, going 2-for-4 with a double and three RBI and Stephanie Garcia had two hits with two RBI. Andy Miramontes scored two runs and had an RBI.

One of the biggest beneficiaries of the offensive outbreak was Lerno, who picked up the pitching win, giving up five hits, walking one, striking out four and allowing no earned runs.

"I think we all came in pretty pumped up for this game because of what happened last time, because we both were in first and just because how important it was," said Lerno. "We came out and started with a lot of runs and just went from there. And with the defense playing as well as it did, that just made a lot easier for me."

Added Niebla: "This was a good win for us, but we have to keep working hard as a team. We have two more (league) games left and we definitely gotta have them."

Southwest (8-2) plays at Calexico at 4:15 p.m. Monday.

Imperial 3, Brawley 2, eight innings

IMPERIAL — Stephanie Ortega scored the game-winning run on a passed ball in the eighth inning to lead the Imperial High softball team to a 3-2 Imperial Valley League victory over Brawley Union High here Friday.

Rhea Deal recorded a triple and scored a run and Samantha Culp had an RBI and scored Imperial's other run.

Andrea Thompson had a sacrifice fly for the Tigers (6-5).

Along with her game-winning run, Ortega recorded a double and had five defensive assists and five putouts.

Lindsay Lugo took the win on the mound for Imperial and Leighan Sudduth got the loss for Brawley.

The Wildcats (3-7) finished with seven hits but committed four errors.

Both teams play at 4:15 p.m. Monday, with Imperial playing at Palo Verde and Brawley playing at Central Union High in El Centro.

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