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Hughson, Hilmar Squads Fall To Varsity Softball Girls
Catcher Hannah Boyd connects to send the ball up the middle during the varsity softball game Thursday against Hilmar. The Lady Cougars came out on top. Marg Jackson/The Times
Brooke Campbell heads toward third after avoiding the ball and went on to score as the varsity softball girls took a 9-6 win off the field against Hilmar. Marg Jackson/The Times
JV second baseman Alexis White takes the throw to try and get the out at second against Hilmar in league play; the visiting JV Lady Yellowjackets took the win. Marg Jackson/The Times

Back-to-back games saw a pair of Trans-Valley League softball victories go on the books for the Escalon varsity Lady Cougars.

They were at Hughson in a Wednesday, April 17 game and came away with an 8-5 win, then hosted Hilmar on Thursday, April 18 and took a 10-6 win off the field.

Brooke Davis got the start in the circle on Wednesday, scattering 10 hits, striking out one and walking none.

“We did most of our scoring in the first two innings,” explained Escalon head coach Art Brooks.

Escalon jumped on top with two runs in the top of the first, Hughson came back and tied the game with two of their own in the bottom of the frame. A five-run second made the difference, as Escalon took control, 7-2. The host Lady Huskies battled back with a pair of runs in the second to trim the lead to 7-4 but Escalon added another in the fourth to lead 8-4. Hughson got one final run in the bottom of the seventh but Escalon held on for the 8-5 win.

“Hannah Boyd was 3-for-4 with an RBI, Sage Davis was 2-for-3 with a double and two RBI,” said Brooks of the hitting leaders. “Malia Babasa was 2-for-3.”

Adding a hit apiece were Lexy Underwood, Hailie Webster, Brooke Davis, Leticia Gutierrez and Ariel Astabie.

Home on Thursday, the Lady Cougars recognized their seniors prior to the start of the game with Hilmar, thanking Kiara Ancheta, Marissa Gonzalez, Leticia Gutierrez, Bella Strach, Lexy Underwood and Hailie Webster for their contributions to the program.

Then it was on to the game, with the visiting Lady Yellowjackets putting two runs on the board in the top of the first. The lead was short-lived, as Escalon answered back with three runs in the first, two more in the second. After a four-run third saw Hilmar jump back in front, 6-5, Escalon scored four runs in the bottom of the third to regain the lead, 9-6. They added an insurance run in the sixth and took the TVL victory.

“Our offense pounded out 15 hits,” Brooks noted.

Bella Strach got the start and the complete game win, allowing eight hits, striking out nine and walking three.

She also helped herself at the plate, notching a single, double, triple and driving in three runs. Boyd was 3-for-4 with an RBI, Webster and Gutierrez each had two hits and drove in a run while Babasa was 2-for-3. Adding hits were Underwood, Kiara Ancheta and Brooke Campbell.

The wins lifted the Lady Cougars to a 6-2 mark in league.

With Escalon High School observing Spring Break this week, the girls will be playing in the NorCal Tournament, scheduled to start with a 5 p.m. game Thursday April 25 against Dixon at the Tracy Complex.



It was a split of league contests for the JV girls this past week, winning on the road but falling at home.

They defeated Hughson on Wednesday, April 17 by a 15-7 final.

“Maddison Hagglund had eight strikeouts on the game,” coach Kristin Beckman said of her starting pitcher.

Escalon also batted around in the contest and put together a solid effort.

“It was fun to watch the girls come together even though we didn’t have our full team,” added Beckman.

The next day, on the home field, Escalon took a 14-5 loss to visiting Hilmar.

“We went up in the first inning 3-1 but unfortunately we let them back in and couldn’t hold on,” Beckman noted.

Despite the loss, the coach said the team worked hard.

“I’m proud of the girls for pushing through and finishing the game strong,” she said.

The JV team was scheduled to play in the NorCal Tournament hosted in Tracy but Beckman said too many players will be out of town for spring break so they had to cancel. Their final league game will be Tuesday, April 30 at Livingston.