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Valley / Ventura County Sports | SOUTHERN SECTION SOFTBALL

Sister Act Shines in Wild-Card Win for Highland, 2-0

May 20, 1999|DAVE DESMOND

The family that plays together will stay together--for at least one more game.

Melissa, Nichole and Natalie Rawson, sisters and teammates on the Highland High softball team, each contributed significantly in the Bulldogs' 2-0 victory over Valencia on Wednesday in a Southern Section Division I wild-card game in Palmdale.

The Bulldogs (18-10) advance to a first-round game at No. 4-seeded Rancho Cucamonga on Friday.

The next Highland loss will end the high school career for Melissa, a senior first baseman who has committed to Colgate.

Nichole, a pitcher, and Natalie, a shortstop, are sophomore twins.

"It'll be very sad when it's all over," said Nichole (17-9), a right-hander who struck out six and allowed seven hits.

Melissa, a first baseman who transferred from Quartz Hill when her sisters enrolled at Highland as freshmen, is attempting to lead the region's section players in runs batted in for the second consecutive season.

Melissa, who had 36 RBIs as a junior, drove in Natalie from third base with a first-inning groundout for RBI No. 34, best among section players in the region.

She finished with two hits and scored the second run on a single by Robyn Hauptman in the fifth inning. Hauptman had two hits.

Natalie, Nichole and Melissa, who bat first, second and fourth in the lineup, are extremely close.

"They even sit on the bus together," Coach Glenda Potts said. "They do everything together."

It's nothing new.

"We've been playing together in Little League, in the backyard, everywhere, for as long as I can remember," Melissa said.

Said Nichole: "And when we're not playing, we go to the movies together, the mall, lots of places."

They've also spent a lot of time playing against Valencia (12-15).

The game on Wednesday marked the third meeting between the teams, all won by Highland. The Rawsons combined for 13 hits in the three games.

"They've been a handful," Valencia Coach Donna Lee said.

Melanie Williams and Lauren Watson each had two hits for Valencia, a four-year varsity program that was making its second consecutive playoff appearance and first in Division I.

Highland finished second to top-ranked Quartz Hill in the Golden League and was surprised to be sent to a wild-card game.

"It's kind of insulting," Nichole said.

Potts had an answer.

"We just have to go out and show everyone that we deserve to be respected," Potts said. "We've got the potential to do it."

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