Cats walk-off to sec­ond round

Imperial Valley Press - - FRONT PAGE - BY KA­RINA LOPEZ Sports Ed­i­tor

BRAW­LEY — An Im­pe­rial Val­ley League soft­ball rivalry spilled into the CIF-San Diego Sec­tion play­offs when the teams from Braw­ley Union and Im­pe­rial highs met in a Div. II first-round game here on Thurs­day night.

Af­ter six in­nings of no-run ball, the game was de­cided in dra­matic fash­ion af­ter the Wild­cats’ Sa­van­nah Con­tr­eras con­nected for a bases-loaded shot in the bot­tom of the sev­enth to bring in the game-win­ning run in walkoff fash­ion. The ju­nior short­stop saw the ball well all game and had pre­vi­ously de­liv­ered a sin­gle in the sixth in­ning.

“I just wanted to come through for my team be­cause they de­served it,” Con­tr­eras said.

As the teams split their two IVL meet­ings, Con­tr­eras said the No. 2 Wild­cats knew they were in for a tough game against the No. 10 Tigers, who up­set No. 7 Chris­tian on Tues­day to reach the dou­ble-elim­i­na­tion por­tion of the tour­ney.

“We knew Im­pe­rial was a good-hit­ting team so we talked about com­ing out and also hit­ting,” she said.

While both teams scat­tered a few hits here and there through­out the game, it wasn’t until the sev­enth in­ning that the hits be­gan to come to­gether in fa­vor of Braw­ley.

The Wild­cats’ Bri­anna Hoff­man sin­gled with one out be­fore Caryn Aguilar stepped in to pinch-run and moved to sec­ond on an­other base-hit from An­gelina Ro­driguez.

Dana Al­varado’s bunt sin­gle then loaded the bases for Braw­ley and while the Tigers were able to get a sec­ond out on strikes, Con- tr­eras fol­lowed and came through with the game-win­ning RBI.

With the win, the Wild­cats ad­vance to the sec­ond round of the play­offs, where they are set to face No. 3 San­tana in a game tenta- tively set for 10 a.m. on Satur­day in Braw­ley.

Im­pe­rial will also play in a sec­ond-round game at No. 6 San Pasqual ten­ta­tively set for 2 p.m. on Satur­day.

KA­RINA LOPEZ PHOTO

Braw­ley Union High’s Ja­lyn Ayala pre­pares to reach sec­ond base as Im­pe­rial High’s Cassandra Valle awaits a re­lay from the out­field dur­ing the teams’ game on Thurs­day.

Im­pe­rial High’s Vic­to­ria Alar­con de­liv­ers for the Tigers. PHOTO KA­RINA LOPEZ

KA­RINA LOPEZ PHOTO

Braw­ley Union High’s Alysia Gal­lardo and Im­pe­rial High’s Julyan­nah Ramirez react to a hit dur­ing their game on Thurs­day.

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