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Calexico High School sophomore Shanelle Gascon slides safely into home plate against Brawley Union High during an Imperial Valley League game at Emerson Field in Calexico on Tuesday, May 25. | CAMILO GARCIA JR. PHOTO

SOFTBALL: Bulldogs Wait and Hope for Playoff Berth

Calexico High School junior Liah Valdez makes the throw from third base to first base during an Imperial Valley League game against Brawley Union High at Emerson Field in Calexico on Tuesday, May 25. | CAMILO GARCIA JR. PHOTO

CALEXICO — It’s a waiting game now for the Calexico High School softball team as the Bulldogs are on the bubble of making the CIF-San Diego Section Division III playoffs after dropping a doubleheader to Brawley Union High in the final week of the Imperial Valley League season.

The section seeding meeting is on Saturday, June 5, and as of now Calexico (13-13 overall, 8-6 in the IVL) is ranked 12th in Division III, with only 12 teams making it into the playoffs.

The Bulldogs haven’t been invited to the playoff party since 2017, so head coach Jenny Lopez knows her girls will be ready if they get into the postseason.

“We made some mistakes during league and getting into the playoffs would be a second chance at putting all the pieces of the puzzle together,” Lopez said.

Calexico could have helped its cause in the final week with a win or two against IVL champion Brawley, but the Wildcats dominated the first game with a 10-1 victory, and then edged the Bulldogs in the second game, 11-7.

Calexico High School sophomore Lexi Melendez comes up throwing from the outfield during an Imperial Valley League game against Brawley Union High at Emerson Field in Calexico on Tuesday, May 25. | CAMILO GARCIA JR. PHOTO

Brawley jumped all over Calexico starter Victoria Vallejo in the first game at Emerson Field in Calexico on Tuesday, May 26, scoring four runs in the top of the first and adding three more in the fourth for a quick 7-0 lead.

The Bulldogs forgot to bring their bats to the first game as well, managing just three hits while striking out 12 times in the 10-1 loss.

The second game in Brawley on Friday, May 28, was a hard-fought contest with the Wildcats holding on after building a 9-2 lead after five innings. The Bulldogs plated five runs in the final two innings as the bats finally came alive.

Calexico had 13 hits in the game, led by three from senior Jossie Hernandez who also had a homer and three RBI. Shanelle Gascon, Liah Valdez, Ana Plancarte and Azennette Lopez all had two hits for the Bulldogs with Valdez driving in three runs on a three-run homer in the seventh inning.

Lopez pitched for the Bulldogs but the Brawley bats were on fire, scoring 11 runs on 18 hits and not striking out in the game.

Calexico finished IVL tied for fourth place with Southwest, behind Brawley, Central Union and Holtville.

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