Extra Innings Give Brawley Girls Win Over Southwest in Softball Nailbiter

Southwest Eagles player Audra Carter (#21) sprinting to third base during their away game against Brawley on Tuesday.
Southwest Eagles player Audra Carter (#21) sprints to third base during their away game against Brawley on Tuesday. The Wildcats win after the game goes into extra innings.

The Desert Review erroneously identified the wrong batter for the game-winning hit. We said that Nickole Rodriguez (#4) was the batter from Brawley. Nicole is a Southwest Eagle. The batter was Wildcat (#4) Brianna Santana, with the game winning hit. We regret the error as we try to be as accurate in our reporting as possible.

BRAWLEY — The Southwest Eagles traveled to Brawley Tuesday to compete against the Brawley Wildcats in a game that ended with a high-intensity, heartbreaking finish.

There was very little hope for the Eagles early in the game as the Wildcats went into the second inning with a leading score of 4-0. Brawley’s Savannah Contreras (#17) scored from a run in the beginning of the inning to increase the Wildcat lead 5-0. While all eyes looked towards Brawley to win, there was a spark of hope on the Southwest side as Audra Carter (#21) sprinted from third base into home, making the score 5-1. Calie Spence (#7) of the Eagles added some pressure as she followed Carter from second base to third, but was unable to go any further.

And yet, Southwest carried on their newly-formed momentum to the beginning of the third inning when they showed stellar defense with a quick double play in which their pitcher caught a close hit from Brawley’s Alexces Tomboc (#15) at bat and quickly threw it to first base to tag Brawley’s Taylor Carranza (#5) who was too slow to get back on base.

In the fourth inning, two of Southwest’s batters were able to show some potential of scoring by hitting two shots into the far outfield, but ultimately, they were quickly captured by the Brawley defense.

The Eagles once against played outstanding defense in the bottom of the fourth. A notable play was Southwest’s shortstop Arianna Izaguirre (#23) who made a leaping catch as a ball was hit into the middle of the field. Brawley’s Savannah Contreras (#17) was able to create a chance at scoring as she hit a ball far into the middle outfield and was able to get to second base. She then reacted quickly and stole third base once the Eagles catcher was unable to return the ball after a pitch. Southwest’s infield defense was able to shut down the threat and kept the Wildcats from adding to their lead.

The Southwest Eagles outplayed the Wildcats in the fifth inning and were able to score twice. This unexpected performance gave the Eagles great momentum and a chance at getting back into the game as they started the sixth inning with a score of 5-3. They made a solid defensive stand at the beginning of the inning with three quick outs without letting any Wildcats past first base.

Once on offense, Southwest’s dugout began cheering loudly as Victoria Cruz (#10) hit a ground ball down the middle of the field and was able to beat the pitcher’s throw to first base. She then made it to third base with two of her Eagles teammates to follow. The crowd reacted in cheers as the bases were loaded and the Eagles were looking to score. Cruz then saw a window of opportunity and stole home base in a very close call. This raised the Eagles’ score 5-4. Sadriena Rodriguez (#2) was walked off at bat and once again the Eagles’ bases were loaded. Southwest took advantage of the play as Frida Moreno (#14) was able to run to home plate while on third after a far ground ball to field was hit. Her teammate, Vianel Solano (#18), then followed to home base after another successful ball was hit by Southwest’s batting squad. The series of runs gave Southwest a leading score of 6-5 going into the seventh inning.

Although the Wildcats were scoreless in the last four innings, their momentum was quickly brought back as Savannah Contreras (#17) hit a home run clear past the 200-foot outfield fences. Energy was booming after the play from the Wildcats’ dugout with the score tied 6-6.

Brawley’s Jalyn Ayala (#10) attempted another home run hit to the far right outfield, but was denied by Southwest outfield player Audra Carter (#21). The tension was high as one score from Brawley could win the match, but Southwest’s third base player Iliana Manzano (#16), was able to tag a Brawley runner and ensured Southwest’s chance at continuing in the game.

Once at bat, pressure set in, and the Eagles were unable to make any successful plays to give them the winning run they needed. The game continued into extra innings with the score tied 6-6.

Brawley’s Taylor Carranza (#5) made noise for her team at the beginning of the eighth inning with a powerful hit down the middle of the field, but she was quickly shut down by Southwest’s middle outfield player Frida Moreno (#14) with a flying, diving catch.

Southwest’s pitcher was able to keep their hopes alive the rest of the inning by allowing few hits from the Wildcats batting squad.

The Eagles were at bat at the start of the ninth inning and Sadriena Rodriguez (#2) took advantage of this with a powerful hit to right outfield and made it to second base safely. She then sprinted from second base to home after a successful hit from her teammate Nickole Rodriguez (#4). The Southwest dugout came alive once again as the lead was back in the Eagles’ claws with a score of 7-6, although they were unable to score any more during their drive.

Brawley was then at bat and set up a play on offense as Jalyn Ayala (#10) hit a ball straight down the middle of the field and gave her teammate Savannah Contreras (#17) time to make it to home base while at third. This tied the score at 7-7. Southwest denied any further scoring from the Wildcats which brought in the tenth inning.

The Eagles started off the inning with a series of quick offense attacks. Getting their first two batters on base, too many foul balls caught by the Brawley defense from Southwest’s batting squad stopped their runners from advancing.

Once at bat, Brawley slowly but surely loaded the bases. This rose their momentum to an all-time high. The game was then dependent on the duel between Southwest’s pitcher and Brawley’s Brianna Santana (#4) at bat who hoped to give her teammate Zoe Aguirre (#9) at third base, a chance to score. After what felt like countless balls and strikes, Rodriguez was able to get a hit into the left outfield which gave her teammate Aguirre (pinch runner for Taylor Carranza) enough time to reach home base and score the winning run.

The Wildcats’ dugout ran out onto the field and cheered. The Southwest Eagles lost their away conference game on Tuesday against Brawley in extra innings by a score of 8-7.

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