Cen­tral’s chaotic scor­ing frenzy wins first-round CIF play­offs

Imperial Valley Press - - SPORTS - BY VIN­CENT OSUNA Staff Writer

EL CEN­TRO — The Cen­tral Union High soft­ball team used a con­trolled chaos style of scor­ing to de­feat La Jolla Coun­try Day School, 8-1, in the first round of the CIF-San Diego Sec­tion Div. III play­offs on Thurs­day at Emma Jones Field here.

The No. 2 Spar­tans were able to co­or­di­nate their ground ball hits with solid base run­ning to dom­i­nate the No. 7 Tor­reys.

This marks the Spar­tan’s sec­ond straight ap­pear­ance in the Div. III play­offs, and with the win, the team will be play­ing again Satur­day at home in the dou­ble-elim­i­na­tion tour­ney.

“Com­ing into this, we were seeded num­ber two, so we kind of felt a pres­sure there,” CUHS sopho­more Jes­sica Acosta said. “Peo­ple were think­ing we’re the best, so we needed to play up to the best.”

Af­ter a slow and score­less first and sec­ond in­ning, La Jolla’s Malia Acol scored from sec­ond base at the top of the third in­ning to give the Tor­reys their first and only lead of the game, 1-0.

The Spar­tans then came out in an ex­plo­sive fash­ion, scor­ing four runs to close out the third in­ning.

“We cre­ated chaos,” Cen­tral Union’s head soft­ball coach Chris Acosta said. “That’s what I’ve been try­ing to get them to un­der­stand: If it’s close, it just takes one lit­tle fire to light it, then the flood gates open.”

Scor­ing the four runs were Cen­tral’s Vi­viana Mo­rales, Mia Perez, Karmina Be­cerra and Acosta.

“To­day’s game was a team ef­fort,” Jes­sica said. “We came out a lit­tle slow, then af­ter the first in­ning we said, ‘We need to win this, this is CIF.’ So we pulled to­gether, and we started go­ing as a team, and it was one hit af­ter an­other.”

Coach Acosta cred­ited his team’s dominant vic­tory to his start­ing pitcher Janyssa Martin, who was re­lieved in the sev­enth in­ning by Be­cerra.

“It all starts with the pitch­ing,” Acosta said. “Our pitch­ers pounded the zone, threw a lot of strikes, forced them to put the ball in play, and when you do that, noth­ing but good things could hap­pen.”

Cen­tral would con­tinue chaos at the top of the fourth in­ning as Amanda Al­cala scored from third base to in­crease the lead to 5-1.

The Spar­tans’ Janyssa Martin was then able to drive team­mates Mo­rales and Perez, who were on sec­ond and third base re­spec­tively, home to score on a hit.

Martin crossed the plate with the fi­nal tally when Be­cerra drove her in.

There was no more scor­ing af­ter the fourth, and the Spar­tans were able to add one more win to their over­all record, 18-9. Be­fore Thurs­day’s game, Cen­tral was on a three-game los­ing streak.

“If you’ve fol­lowed our games all year, we’ve started off strong and then kind of re­laxed, and we’ve been on them about bring­ing an hour and 45-min­utes of chaos,” coach Acosta said. “We’ve been telling them we need seven in­nings of com­plete, fo­cused chaotic-tempo en­ergy, and to­day they did.”

The Spar­tans are hope­ful their CIF ex­pe­ri­ence doesn’t re­peat last year’s, when they won their first play­off game, only to lose the fol­low­ing two.

“I think that ev­ery­one has a burn from last year still, like we still don’t want that to hap­pen again,” Jes­sica said. “So I think that’s our mo­ti­va­tion to keep go­ing. We’re say­ing it’s not go­ing to hap­pen again, and we’re just push­ing to get through the end.”

The Spar­tans are set to host He­lix High at 10 a.m. Satur­day.

VIN­CENT OSUNA PHOTO

Cen­tral Union High’s Aleah Car­de­nas swings at a pitch dur­ing the first round of the CIF-San Diego Sec­tion Div. III play­offs at Emma Jones Field on Thurs­day in El Cen­tro.

VIN­CENT OSUNA PHOTO

Cen­tral Union High’s Vi­vana Mo­rales sprints to third base dur­ing the first round of the CIF-San Diego Sec­tion Div. III play­offs at Emma Jones Field on Thurs­day in El Cen­tro.

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