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Championship Turn For Lady Cougar Golfers
 In unfamiliar, but exciting territory, the Lady Cougars have captured the golf title in the Valley-Foothill League.

The Escalon High Girl's Golf team fulfilled two of the three team goals that they set for themselves this year. By beating Riverbank in their final dual match of the year, the Lady Cougar linksters went through the dual meet season undefeated with a perfect 12-0 record in the Valley-Foothill League North and a perfect 15-0 record overall. They then accomplished goal number two by winning the VFL League tournament and taking first place in the VFL.

According to Coach Rusty Fachner, there is still one more goal to go.

"We really wanted to go undefeated in dual matches this year and we did that. It was something that had never been done at the school (going undefeated in girl's golf), and we knew it would be a tough goal to achieve. Through a lot of hard work by every member of this team, we were able to pull it off," Fachner said. "Our second goal was to win the VFL and by winning the league tournament, we pretty much left no doubt in anyone's mind that we were the best team in the league. Our final goal, to bring home a section championship, will be our toughest goal yet, but I think that if we play well and believe in ourselves, we can do it."

In beating Riverbank in the final regular season contest, 146-172, Escalon continued a trend of beating opponents by a large margin. The closest any team came to the Lady Cougars in a dual match this year was 16 strokes, and the Purple and Gold was not to be denied this time as well. In fashioning the score of 142, the Lady Cougars saw three girls score in the 30's as Presli Pilati shot an even par 32, Samantha Luque shot a 37, Parker Pilati followed with a 38 and Jennifer Schmidt added a 39.

"It was kind of funny that they would finish in that order," Fachner noted. "Because that is pretty much the order they finished in overall league scoring as well. Presli was #1, Samantha was #2, Parker #3 and Jennifer finished 5th. That's pretty much been our strength all year."

Sabrina Luque finished the day with a 44 and Cory Bolls had a 45 to finish the scoring.

At the league tournament, played at Spring Creek Country Club in Ripon, it was First Place Medalist Presli Pilati who led the way for Escalon. She shot an 87 on the day and was the only golfer in the field to finish under 100. Considering the course and the conditions, 87 was a really solid 18 hole round.

"It had rained earlier in the day, and they had left the rough extremely long. Add to this, the fact that Spring Creek is one of the toughest courses in the valley, and you can see that Presli's effort was really outstanding," Fachner commented.

As a team, Escalon shot a 413, good enough to outscore second place Bret Harte by 33 strokes and third place Calaveras by 81.

"As a team we really did an excellent job. Samantha was solid like she always is, Jennifer was terrific, and Parker played very steady golf. Sabrina (Luque) also shot a great score and we didn't even use it," Fachner said. "It was the same team effort that we used all year. We had a plan of how to play the course, and it worked very well. I'm proud of the way they handled themselves."

The individual scoring for the tournament after Presli's 87 was Samantha Luque with a 104, Jennifer Schmidt with 110, Parker Pilati with 112 and Sabrina Luque with 117. Cory Bolls' 141 completed the scoring.

Escalon was slated to play at the Section Tournament on Tuesday, Oct. 27 at Stevinson Ranch GC, after The Times went to press. There will be several solid teams, but Fachner feels that his team has a good chance of bringing home some hardware.

"If we can improve our score by about 20 strokes from what we shot at the league tournament, we definitely have a chance. The thing about sections is that unlike league, they use five scores instead of four. Depth will be the key, and there will be a little more pressure on Sabrina and Cory to post good scores. Sabrina has really played well down the stretch, and I feel pretty confident."

Escalon's chief competition will come from an undefeated Central Catholic squad that won the Valley-Foothill South, Livingston, who finished second to Central, and Bret Harte, the VFL North runner-up and last year's section champion.

"If we play within ourselves and stay focused, the rest will take care of itself. We have the players to make it happen," Fachner concluded.