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Non-League Wins, TVL Loss For Varsity Softball
Lefty Ashley Schuurman lets a pitch fly in late inning play on Thursday. The varsity girls failed to hold a lead and saw Riverbank get the TVL win in extra innings. - photo by Marg Jackson/The Times

After taking a pair of non-league victories off the diamond early in the week, the start of league play proved problematic for Escalon’s varsity Lady Cougars on Thursday.

The girls went on the road for the Trans-Valley League opener and lost an extra inning contest to host Riverbank, 9-8.

They opened the week with a 2-0 win at home against Linden on Monday, March 11.

“We scored in the first inning, Illiana Cajias had a single and moved up on an error,” explained coach Art Brooks. “Ashley Schuurman had a single and an RBI, Lexi Prim had a single and an RBI.”

That would be all the scoring for the game, but it was enough.

“Marissa Dominguez went all seven innings, she was really dominant that day,” Brooks said of his pitcher. She had 12 strikeouts, scattered just four hits and allowed no runs.

Tuesday, the varsity girls hosted Calaveras and came away with a 3-2 win.

“Calaveras had a run in the first, one in the third and their pitcher was handling our hitters,” Brooks said of having trouble early against the Redskins.

The Lady Cougars put together four singles in the sixth to get on the board, trimming the lead to 2-1.

“We got singles from Nicole Bianchi, Madysen Costa, Kristin Beckman and then Schuurman with an RBI single,” he explained.

Down by a run in the bottom of the seventh, the home team came from behind to “steal one” from the competition, said Brooks.

“Anastasia Rodriguez had a single, Adalia Cajias put down a sacrifice bunt that went for a hit,” the coach said. “Honda Hernandez put down the safety squeeze that scored Rodriguez and Adalia was able to score on an error, it was a very exciting game.”

Schuurman started the game on the mound, Dominguez came on in the fifth and got credit for the win, her second of the week.

Thursday’s game on the road at Riverbank to open up Trans-Valley League action was a polar opposite of the non-league games, the team coming in with little energy and having to claw for everything. Riverbank had a 2-0 lead, Escalon was able to pull even and then the teams started trading the lead in the late innings, Escalon going ahead only to see Riverbank capitalize on errors to regain the lead.

The visitors took the lead in the top of the seventh, Riverbank tied it to send it to extra innings and though Escalon got a run in the top of the eighth, they couldn’t hold off the Lady Bruins and allowed two runs in the bottom of the inning for the 9-8 loss.

“We lost it in the eighth on errors, we had nine errors on the day and just threw the ball away,” Brooks said. “It’s one of those games where we’ll have to remember how it felt so we don’t do it again.”

Rodriguez had a triple and two RBIs, Schuurman had a double, Haley Yandell had two RBIs and single hits came from Bianchi, Hernandez and Costa. Schuurman took the loss on the mound.

The JV girls were shutout winners over Riverbank on the day, but results from their non-league contests were not available.

The squads host Orestimba tomorrow, Thursday, March 21.