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SOFTBALL: Valdez, Lopez Named First-Team All-IVL

Calexico High School junior Liah Valdez rounds third after hitting a home run during the Imperial Valley League season. Valdez, along with teammate Andrea Lopez, was named to the All-IVL First Team for her work this past season. | CAMILO GARCIA JR. PHOTO

CALEXICO — Two juniors from the Calexico High School softball team were named to the First-Team All-Imperial Valley League after helping the Bulldogs to a fourth-place IVL finish.

Calexico High School junior Andrea Lopez scores a run for the Bulldogs early in the 2021 season. Lopez, along with teammate Liah Valdez, was named to the All-Imperial Valley League First Team for her efforts this season. | CAMILO GARCIA JR. PHOTO

Calexico went 13-13 overall and 8-6 in IVL action, tied for fourth with Southwest High of El Centro. Brawley Union was the outright IVL champion, followed by a second-place tie between Holtville and Central Union.

Leading the way all season for the Bulldogs were juniors Liah Valdez and Andrea Lopez. Valdez was Calexico’s power hitter, leading the team in RBIs and home runs, while Lopez was the table-setter at the top of the lineup with her ability to get on base.

The First-Team All-IVL infielders, in addition to Valdez, were Brawley’s Tamara Carranza and Dilynn Gill, Holtville’s Demi Johnston and Kamryn Walker and Central’s Danica Acosta. First-Team outfielders, in addition to Lopez, were Brawley’s Mikalyn Emanuelli and Caryn Aguilar, and Southwest’s Jaelyn Niebla.

First-Team pitchers were Holtville’s Kalli Strahm, Marissa Pena from Brawley and Central’s Arianna Sanchez. Holtville catcher Kaitlyn Havens was named to the first team along with utility player Karmina Becerra from Central.

The Player of the Year honor went to Brawley’s Emmanuelli and Pitcher of the Year went to the Wildcats’ ace Pena. Holtville coach Melissa Snyder was named IVL Coach of the Year.

Two Bulldogs were also named to the All-IVL Second Team in junior infielder Shanelle Gascon and freshman pitcher Victoria Vallejo.

Others named to the Second-Team infield were Holtville’s Emily Zarate and Brooke Strahm, Brawley’s Brianna Hoffman and Imperial’s Abby Ruiz. Alessandra De La Trinidad was named a Second-Team outfielder along with Holtville’s Lexis Smith and Sofie Irungaray.

Second-Team pitching honors went to Southwest’s Melissa Flores, while the Second-Team catcher was Brawley’s Aly Tapia. The Second-Team utility player award went to Southwest’s Jessenia Lopez.

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