EL CENTRO — Imperial Valley League softball bombarded the San Diego section postseason as six of the seven conference teams made the playoffs this year in Brawley, Central, Southwest, Imperial, Holtville, and Palo Verde while the Lady Wildcats, Spartans, and Tigers remain in the hunt for a CIF title.
Palo Verde landed the (9) slot in the Division IV playoff bracket after the Lady Yellowjackets upset the (8) seed Foothill Christian 16–1 May 14 in the play-in round. In the official first round, Palo Verde was blanked 10–1 by the #1 ranked Southwest S.D. Lady Raiders. In the second round, the Lady Yellowjackets were unable to keep up with the #5 seed Sweetwater as the Lady Red Devils took out Palo Verde 19–8.
Holtville won their first phase, play-in game May 13 in a 9–2 crush over Calvary Christian Academy in the Division IV playoff tournament. Having to play another win-in game May 15 versus the (5) slated Lady Red Devils, the #12 ranked Lady Vikings could not withstand Sweetwater’s red-hot bats and were bounced from the playoff with the 13–5 loss.
Imperial ended the regular season at 7–5 in IVL and in fourth place, enough to earn the Lady Tigers a play-in game as the (9) team in the Division II playoff bracket. On May 14, Imperial could not overcome (8) La Costa Canyon’s tight-fisted fielding and unforgiving pitching staff as the Lady Mavericks wrangled the Tigers 6–1.
One of the three remaining teams and the defending CIF Champs, Southwest, finished IVL in third place but the Lady Eagles’ entire season résumé was impressive enough to claim the #6 seed in the Division II Playoff. In the play-in round May 14, the Lady Eagles edged (11) Otay Ranch 3–0. Southwest kept the bats rolling in the second round May 18 with a 9–1 cruiser over (3) Mission Hills. In rare all IVL third round, (2) Lady Wildcats shutout Southwest 4–0 in Brawley. Southwest will face Mission Hills in the CIF Division II semi-final May 21 at the Santee Sportsplex.
The 2019 co-IVL Champion Lady Wildcats were awarded the second highest seeding in the Division II playoff at number two and play-in round bye. In the official first round, Brawley faced (7) Del Norte May 16 and handed the Lady Nighthawks a 6–0 goose egg. The Lady Wildcats faced a familiar foe in Southwest May 18 in the third round and continued their winning ways with a 4-0 win against the (6) Lady Eagles. The Lady Wildcats will play San Pasqual May 23 for in the CIF Division II quarterfinal at the Santee Sportsplex.
Central finished with an overall record of 23–10 and tied Brawley for first place in IVL. The Lady Spartans went into the CIF Division II playoff ranked (5). On May 14, Central took out (12) Calipatria 5–2. In the official first round May 16, the Lady Spartans upset (4) Mar Vista 7–2. In the quarterfinal, CUHS dealt out a 9–5 defeat to the #1 team in the bracket Coronado on May 18. The Lady Spartans will next face (3) Mission Bay at the Santee Sportsplex May 23.