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Knights fall to Holtville 5-4

May 19, 2002|By TIM YANNI, Special to this newspaper

HOLTVILLE — Yes, Imperial Valley schools can compete in the CIF San Diego Section.

Yes, No. 6-seeded Holtville High deserved to host a first-round game in the Division IV softball playoffs.

And, to answer a question posed by a vocal Bishop's School of La Jolla fan in attendance at Saturday's game here, yes, Holtville High pitcher Lauren Huyler can throw strikes.

Huyler struck out 10 batters en route to a 5-4 playoff victory over the No. 11-seeded Bishop's on Saturday.

"I just had to keep fighting straight through," Huyler said, whose team went 14-7 overall and 7-5 in Imperial Valley League play. "It's just great that we won."

Huyler, who was pitching a no-hitter going into the fourth inning, gave up only four hits in the game.

"It means a lot," said Viking coach David Rodgers. "Any game in the playoffs is going to be a tough one."

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The Vikings trailed 4-1 after the top of the third inning, but Knight pitcher Veronica Canto lost her cool and allowed four runs in the bottom of the inning.

Holtville's Michelle Strahm walked, Jessica Young got on base with a single and Claudia Lopez drove in Strahm with a sacrifice fly.

Josie Silva then kept the Viking rally going by driving in Young with a single and then scoring on a passed ball.

Cindy Lopez wrapped the scoring when she crossed the plate on a Marisela Valenzuela sacrifice fly to take the lead.

Huyler said she was pleased with the win, which she credited to her teammates.

"My teammates came back for me," Huyler said. "Now we finally got to show them what we can do in the playoffs."

"I think today the team just worked together," Rodgers said. "They fought back when they needed to and they held on."

Rodgers said the third inning, in which the Knights scored all of its runs, was "uncharacteristic of the team" and he expected the Vikings to come back.

"The team worked together and they did a good job," Rodgers said. "I think the IVL will be well-represented with all the teams who won here today."

Holtville will travel to No. 3-seeded Horizon Christian in San Diego for a second-round contest at 3:15 p.m. Tuesday.

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