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Three Wins Equals Consolation Championship For Varsity Softball
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A tough first round draw, which resulted in a loss in extra innings, dropped Escalon into the consolation bracket at the Jackson Tournament. There, they swept all three opponents to come home with the consolation championship from the weekend tourney.

The Lady Cougars faced off with Rancho Cordova in the first game and lost by a 5-4 decision in the eighth inning, as the game went to an international tiebreaker.

“Marissa Dominguez pitched an outstanding game against a very good team,” said coach Art Brooks. “She had five strikeouts and allowed five hits.”

Tied at 2-2 after seven innings, the game saw Cordova score three runs starting with the runner at second in the international tiebreaker, while Escalon scored just two, taking the loss. Key hits for the team came from Ashley Schuurman with a triple and Kristin Beckman with a double.

“It put us into the loser’s bracket, which we had no business being in,” Brooks said, noting that the Lady Cougars were a cut above the rest of the competition in that bracket. “We crushed every team.”

They beat Mesa Verde by a 20-0 final, Sacramento High by a 10-1 decision and shut out Stagg in the consolation final, 12-0.

Against Mesa Verde, Ashley Schuurman went four strong innings, with Haley Yandell coming on to pitch an inning in relief as the contest went just five frames.

“Lexi Prim was 3-for-4 with two RBI, Kristin Beckman was 3-for-3 with two RBI and four runs scored,” Brooks said of key contributions.

Schuurman, who ended the weekend with All Tournament Honors, was a stellar 3-for-3 with a single, double, grand slam and six runs batted in. Yandell went 2-for-3 with a run batted in, as did Adalia Cajias. Single hits came from Nicole Bianchi, Illiana Cajias, Maddy Costa and Marissa Dominguez.

Against Sacramento, Dominguez got the start and gave up only one unearned run, notching nine strikeouts in “another outstanding game,” said Brooks. Bianchi paced the offense with a 2-for-4 outing, Beckman was 2-for-3, Anastasia Rodriguez was 3-for-3 with three doubles and three runs batted in. Schuurman and Illiana Cajias each added a hit.

In the finale against Stagg, Schuurman fashioned a perfect game until the final inning, when one hit got through to put a blemish on her record. It wasn’t a huge offensive game for Escalon, either, though they took advantage of opportunities and did a fair amount of running to get into scoring position.

Prim was 1-for-2 with two stolen bases, Adalia Cajias was 1-for-2 with two RBI, Honda Hernandez was 1-for-2 and knocked in a run. Illiana Cajias and Bianchi added hits and the team stole a total of six bases in the game.

“We went 3-1 in the tournament and the defense for the weekend was as good as I have seen it in some time,” Brooks said, pleased with the progress the team is making.

The girls were slated to play Linden and Calaveras to close out non-league action Monday and Tuesday, and travel to Riverbank for a Thursday, March 14 contest to start Trans-Valley League play.

The team will also host a car wash at the school on Saturday, March 23 starting at 8 a.m.