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Yucaipa Thunderbirds Softball Off To Good Start In Citrus Belt League

Thursday, March 17th, 2011

Sophomore, Kenzie Maxwell, has a 5-1 record, 0.78 ERA, and pitched 36 innings in helping the T-Birds to a 5-2 overall record, 2-0 in the Citrus Belt League. Photo By BOB OTTO

YUCAIPA, CA – Each Spring like an annual pilgrimage the Yucaipa Thunderbirds travel to play in the tough Corona Stu Penter Softball Tournament March 5-11. The tournament features some of the strongest teams in California.

The T-Birds have played well in the tournament but never won it – and this year it was no exception. They finished with a respectable 3-2 record, and T-Birds coach Dave Kivett is OK with that.

Because for Kivett, the tournament serves as a Spring training and an evaluation of sorts that allows him to gauge just what kind of team he has to work with when the most important part of the season begins: The Citrus Belt League.

And if the T-Birds can finish in the top three, it assures an automatic berth into the CIF-Southern Section post-season playoffs.

That being said, Kivett’s T-Birds got off to a strong start in CBL play when they swept the visiting Fontana Steelers, 1-0, and 9-2, in games played on Tuesday and Wednesday.

“We just didn’t hit the ball well in the first game,” Kivett said before the start of the second encounter.

But after the second game, he was pleased with the T-Birds offensive explosion – especially that of Courtney Brown, who was 4 for 4 including two doubles and four RBIs. Brown’s offensive outburst has now boasted her stats into the stratosphere: She has a .476 batting average, 8 RBIs, scored 7 runs, along with 2 doubles and 2 home runs.

Senior, Courtney Brown, has been a hitting dynamo for the Thunderbirds. Photo By BOB OTTO

“Courtney is seeing the ball well and she is making it happen for us,” Kivett said of his senior third baseman.

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Explosive bats power Yucaipa Lady T-Birds to CBL win

Wednesday, April 8th, 2009

Allen’s blast keeps Yucaipa perfect in league play

By Bob Otto / Staff Photographer

YUCAIPA – All season long the Lady T-Birds have relied on solid pitching, defense, and hitting. On Tuesday the pitching and defense stumbled.

But the hitting? Explosive. And it had to be.

Yucaipa trailed visiting Redlands East Valley, 4-1, going into the fifth inning – mostly due to four errors – but then the bats came alive and erupted for nine runs to put away the pesky Wildcats (6-7, 1-2) to give the Lady T-Birds a 12-7 victory in Citrus Belt League play.

Head Coach, David Kivett, added a fourth key component that has made the Lady T-Birds successful in starting their season with an overall 10-3 record, 3-0 in the CBL.

“They don’t quit,” Kivett said. “This team is unique. It doesn’t matter what the score is, or where we are in the game, they always believe they are going to finish on top.”

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