IMPERIAL — The Brawley Wildcats traveled to Abdul Mohammed Field to compete in an exciting, fast-paced softball match against the Imperial Tigers on Tuesday night, with the Tigers winning the home conference game by a hard-fought score of 5-4.
Imperial held the lead for the first half of the game with a score of 2-0. The fourth inning began with Brawley’s Savannah Estrada (#13) at bat. Estrada made it safely past first base from a hit, but then tried a risky attempt to steal second base. After reviewing the play, the referees declared Estrada out at second base.
At the bottom of the fourth, the Imperial Tigers began their offensive. After a series of missed bunts, a Tiger got a hit, giving teammate Marie Alvarez (#6) a chance to advance to third and then cleared home base. Angela Salcedo (#32) attempted to continue the scoring drive with a powerful hit far into the middle outfield, but it was caught by Brawley’s outfield. This drive ended the fourth inning with Imperial leading, 3-0.
A determined Brawley team started the fifth inning at bat. As a result of Imperial’s quick defense, Brawley’s first two batters were unable to make any plays. Brawley’s Brianna Santana (#4) then hit a line drive to the right side of the field making it to first base safely. She stole second base after Imperial’s catcher delayed getting the ball back into play. The Imperial catcher failed again at catching the ball, allowing Santana to steal third. Two more Wildcats batted, including Savannah Estrada (#13), who was walked to first base. Brawley’s bases were loaded. The crowd realized the game changing situation, and cheered on Jalyn Ayala (#10) who was next at bat to capitalize on the opportunity. Ayala hit to the infield, although it was quickly captured by Imperial’s defense, ending Brawley’s drive.
Imperial’s offense stepped up. Jazleigh Ortiz (#3) was first to bat for her team’s fifth inning offensive. After hitting multiple foul balls, she made contact and hit the ball past the left outfield fence. This brought the score to 4-0. Her teammate Priscilla Silva (#24) then followed with a powerful double, putting her on second. Savannah Contreras (#17) then hit a ball into the middle outfield, giving Silva enough time to score crossing home plate. The run brought the score to 5-0 with Imperial leading the game.
The Tigers went into the 6th inning with the momentum on their side, although they would not have it for long. The Imperial defense marched onto the field and Alisha Diaz (#0) started Brawley’s batting lineup for the start of the 6th inning. Diaz pounded a ground ball single straight down the middle of the field. Her teammate Taylor Carranza (#5) followed with an extremely powerful home run hit. The ball sailed past the left outfield fences, bringing her and her teammate to home plate. Brawley was on the scoreboard, 5-2.
Brawley’s Alexces Tomboc (#15) added to the series of hits with a ground ball single. Calie Spence (#7) hit another grounder towards short stop, grabbing first and advancing Tombac to second.
With two teammates on base, Brawley’s Kandiss Wise (#11) struck out. Brawley’s Brianna Santana (#4) then stepped to the plate and made a successful bunt which brought her teammates Tombac to third base and Spence (who was pinch subbed for #51 Alysia Gallardo) to second base. Brawley’s Savannah Contreras (#17) then attempted to bring her two teammates to home plate but hit a pitch into the left outfield foul line. The ball was caught and Brawley’s offensive drive for the sixth inning ended with baserunners on second and third.
Imperial’s Sinclaire Mays (#7) started for her team at bat. She hit a high ball into the infield and it was quickly caught by a Brawley defender. Brawley continued with excellent defense throughout the inning and denied any Tigers from getting on base.
The score was 5-2 going into the 7th inning. Brawley’s Savannah Estrada (#13) started at bat for Brawley. Her single was a short ball into the infield. Jalyn Ayala (#10) hit a ball over Imperial’s second base player safely making it to first, while Estrada ran to second base. Alisha Diaz’s (#0) successful bunt let Ayala advance to second, although Estrada was tagged out by Imperial’s third base player Marie Alvarez (#6) while trying to get to base.
Alexces Tomboc (#15) took the plate and after three foul balls, she connected a powerful hit into the right outfield and brought Alvarez home, creeping closer to a tie game with the score showing 5-3.
Calie Spence (#7) at bat and hit a far line drive and crossing her teammate, Alisha Diaz, to home plate, making the score 5-4. Brawley’s momentum began to build high as there was still room to score. With runners on base and only two points needed to win, Brawley’s fate was controlled by Kandiss Wise (#11), up to bat. She made contact, hitting a high ball into the outfield, but the play ended in complete heartbreak as an Imperial defender caught it and ended the game.
The Imperial Tigers won Tuesday’s home conference game against Brawley by a score of 5-4.