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EHS Teams Closing Out Busy Spring Campaign
Following their home finale on May 10, players and coaches gathered in left field to discuss the game and prepare for the postseason. The varsity girls dropped their final two games, to Riverbank and Ripon, and were to travel to Sacramento for a May 16 opening round playoff game. Marg Jackson/The Times

The final two games in the Trans-Valley League season were both losses for Escalon’s varsity softball girls. They lost to Riverbank, 7-4, at home on Wednesday May 10 and then took another loss, on the road at Ripon, on Thursday, May 11. But with a third-place finish in the TVL, the girls earned a trip to the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs. They were scheduled to play on Tuesday, May 16, taking on El Camino in a first round contest on the road. The game was after press time for The Times.

As far as the league season, head coach Caitlin Brooks said the girls were matched up against the two teams ahead of them in league for the final two contests. They battled but could not solve either Riverbank or Ripon.

They hosted Riverbank and rallied for a few runs in the bottom of the seventh but still fell short.

Maison Babasa went 3-for-4, Macie Vickers was 2-for-2 and Shelby Wilder was 1-for-4 with three RBIs. It was also Senior Night with Lucy Allbaugh, Alyssa Herrera, Madellyn Spurgeon, Briana Vazquez and Emily Vickers honored for their contributions to the program through the years.

Thursday, it was a 4-2 loss to Ripon, the TVL champions.

“They played much better against them during the second round,” Brooks said of progress the team has made since their first meeting. “Alyssa Herrera went 2-for-2 with an RBI and Madison Babasa went 2-for-4. Emily Vickers’ lone hit was a double to the fence to score our second run.”

Escalon, the number nine seed in Division 4, had to travel to Sacramento for the opening round game, as the El Camino Eagles got to stay home with the number eight seed.



The varsity baseball team, under first-year head coach Gino Franceschetti, made a return trip to the Sac-Joaquin Section Playoffs.

The boys had to travel to face off with a tough Bradshaw Christian team, the game played on Tuesday, May 9 in Sacramento. Bradshaw Christian was the number 3 seed in Division 5, Escalon went in as number six.

“We lost 7-0. Bradshaw Christian was a great team,” Franceschetti said. “Cam Ruiz went two-for-three with a double and single and those were our only hits in the game.”

Parker Saunders, Greg Adams and Zack Valencia pitched well, added the coach.

“We just didn’t give them much help behind them. We had a couple of errors that hurt us and Bradshaw Christian ended up capitalizing on those.”

Bradshaw Christian went on to defeat number two Colfax in the semifinals, while on the other side of the bracket, top ranked Sutter defeated number four Hughson, setting up Colfax vs. Bradshaw Christian for the Division 5 Section crown, with that game scheduled on May 26.

With the May 9 road loss, the Cougars bowed out in the opening round but they played some good baseball in the Trans-Valley League to post a 7-5 mark and get to the postseason. They finished at 12-12 overall.

“The hardest part about that day was saying bye to the seniors,” Franceschetti admitted. “All five, Cam Ruiz, Austin Ewing, Zack Valencia, Dom Brunetti and Colton Page, worked really hard this year. I’m hoping all of them are really proud of themselves.”

Franceschetti said it was the seniors, in particular, that he was also happiest for, getting a playoff game.

“They went through some tough years, not only in baseball, but their high school experience with COVID. It was mine and those five seniors making playoffs for the first time so it was really cool sharing that moment with them,” the coach noted. “It’s a group I will remember forever.”



Section trials were staged on Tuesday, May 9 for Escalon track and field athletes, with the finals on Thursday.

Head coach Carrie Nash said the Cougars qualified three relay teams and four athletes in individual events to compete at the Division 5 section meet.

In a new event at sections this year, the girls 4x800 meters saw Reagan Baker, Alondra Gonzalez, Hannah Wampler and Charlotte Shaddix run for a sixth place finish in their heat with a time of 11:50.89.

“It was a great experience for them and since all are returning next year, we look forward to improving and finishing higher next year,” Nash said.

Also competing was the boys 4x100 meter relay team of Logan Anderson, Josh Graham, Talan Reider and Owen Nash.

“They just missed qualifying for finals and took ninth place with a time of 46.39,” said Nash.

The boys 4x400m relay (Andrew Morales, Logan Anderson, Ryan Barker and Owen Nash) ran a time of 3:44.80, finishing 11th overall.

Among the Cougar individuals competing, Logan Anderson was seventh in the long jump at 19-08.75; Chloe Farley was eighth in the shot put at 31-02.50; Owen Nash was eighth in the high jump at 5-11.00; Andrew Morales was 12th in the 400m at 54.64.

“Although no athletes advanced to Masters, our kids competed well and we are proud of their performances,” Nash said.



The Cougars fell to visiting Lindhurst, 5-4, in Section action on May 8. Taking wins were Isabella Nalbandian and Ryle Lattig at girls’ number one and two singles, respectively, and two of the double teams. Makayla Wentzell and Faye Hernandez were 6-4, 6-2 winners at girls number one doubles; Kali Castellanos and Brittany Dugo won 6-4, 7-5 in number two girls doubles.

Eyes focused on the track ahead, Escalon’s Owen Nash reaches back for the baton as teammate Talan Reider gets ready to pass it off in the 4-by-100 relay race in Section action. Photo By Jonamar Jacinto
Head coach Gino Franceschetti, at left, has a meeting on the mound earlier this season with pitcher Parker Saunders and catcher Jamin Miller. The Cougars ended their season with a first-round playoff loss to Bradshaw Christian. Marg Jackson/The Times