BRAWLEY – The Lady Wildcats hosted the Calexico softball team Thursday and advanced to first place in the Imperial Valley League after defeating the Bulldogs 6-4.
Kicking off the top of the first inning, Calexico’s Nicole Moran (#8) led off the game earning a single with a hard-hit ball to shortstop. With a runner on first, Briana Amparano (#14) found the ball for a fly to left-field to give Moran the chance to move into scoring position. Andrea Quiroz (#3) and Brianne Martinez (#17) also came through in the first inning with base hits, bringing one run across the plate for the lead.
Down by one, the Wildcats stepped up to the plate in the bottom of the first and set the tone for the rest of the ball game with multiple hits. Hailey Garcia (#1) was first to step up to the plate that resulted in a hard-hit ball to third base for a single. Savanah Estrada (#13) gained one base on a fielderâ€™s choice play that got Garcia out at second. Up next, Taylor Carranza (#5) connected with the ball for a fly to left field, and scored an RBI with Estrada — tying the game at 1-1. The Wildcats continued the rally to drive in one more run and took the lead, 2-1.
The score remained the same until the third inning when the Wildcats stepped back to the plate for three runs to advance their lead. Kicking off the bottom of the third, Lilliana Martinez (#7) energized her team with a solo home run, bringing the score to 3-1. Following the big hit, Estrada earned her second hit of the night for a single to left-center. The next hit to drive in two more runs came from Savanah Contreras (#17), bringing in Estrada, and Carranza, and the score was 5-1.
In the top of the fourth, the Bulldogs led off with a hit by Diana Ortiz (#4) who connected with the ball, sending it to center field for a single. Quiroz was next up and found the bases with her own shot down the third base line for a double. To close out the inning, Linett Niebla (#12) connected with the ball for an RBI, giving the Bulldogs one run and a 5-2 score.
With the Wildcats unable to score in the bottom of the fourth, the Bulldogs came back to the plate in the top of the fifth with a run to shorten the Wildcats’ lead. Leading off for the Bulldogs, Sahara Norman (#2) swung on a 1-2 count for a single to shallow left field. At the plate next, Kayla Cornejo (#10) lined up the middle to advance the runner. Martinez batted next and hit a line drive to center field for an RBI, bringing the score to 5-3.
The Bulldogs once again shut out the Wildcats in the bottom of the fifth and came back strong late in the top of the sixth with hits by Niebla and Sofia Pineda (#11). The Bulldogs moved one more run across the plate to make it a one run game at 5-4.
In the bottom of the sixth, the Wildcatsâ€™ Martinez connected with the ball for her second home run of the evening, and the only Brawley run in the bottom half of the inning.
With the Bulldogs unable to score in the top of the seventh, the Wildcats move forward to defeat the Bulldogs 6-4. With this win, the Lady Wildcats moved to first place position with a record of 10-2. The team closest to Brawley in rankings are the Imperial Tigers, who also have a 10-2 league record.