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Lady Cougars Continue Roller Coaster Softball Season
Lucy A slide
Escalon’s Lucy Allbaugh slides safely in to third base during early inning action on Thursday, April 28. Escalon had the lead early but ended up falling to the visiting Hilmar Lady Yellowjackets, 6-4. Marg Jackson/The Times

It was another up and down week in Trans-Valley League play for Escalon’s varsity softball girls, defeating Hughson but falling to Hilmar.

In action on the road Tuesday, April 26, the varsity squad put away Hughson in a 16-2 final. But they couldn’t sustain the momentum and fell by a close 6-4 final on Thursday on the home field against Hilmar.

Tuesday, the girls jumped out to a 3-0 lead and never looked back, never trailing in the contest. They added five runs in the sixth and then erupted for eight more in the seventh. Hughson scratched back with two runs in the bottom of the fourth to get as close as 3-2 before Escalon piled on the runs in the final two innings. Escalon also had 17 hits on the day; Hughson managed just five. Both teams had several errors.

For Escalon, Emily Vickers, Tulsa Carnes and Brooke Davis each drove in three runs on the afternoon. Vickers was 4-for-6 with three runs scored; Carnes was 1-for-4 with a run scored and a walk; Davis was 3-for-5 with a run scored.

Driving in two runs each were Grace Spurgeon (1-for-4, run scored, walk) and Madison Hagglund (1-for-5, run scored); while Bailey Dugo scored two runs, drew a walk and got credit for an RBI.

Davis went the distance on the mound for the victory, striking out 15 and walking one.

In Thursday’s game, the girls had the lead late against Hilmar but, as has been the case many times this season, they were unable to close it out. A five-run uprising by the visiting Lady Yellowjackets in the top of the seventh provided the sting in a 6-4 loss for Escalon.

Hilmar pushed a run across in the top of the first but Escalon countered with two in the bottom of the frame to lead it 2-1. They added a run in the third and one in the sixth for a 4-1 advantage heading into the final inning. Hilmar however, capitalized on all their opportunities in the seventh and put five runs on the board. Escalon could not get much going in the bottom of the inning and took the tough 6-4 loss.

Hilmar had six runs on nine hits and committed three errors; Escalon had four runs on nine hits and two errors.

Emily Vickers, Tulsa Carnes and Faye Hernandez each drove in a run. Lucy Allbaugh had a pair of hits and scored two runs; Vickers went 3-for-4 and scored a run. Also notching hits were Fernandez, Shelby Wilder, Brooke Davis and Briana Vazquez.

Davis took the loss, pitching all seventh innings and allowing five earned runs. She struck out nine, walked four and allowed two home runs.

The girls ended the week at 5-4 in TVL play, holding on to third place. They are now 13-10 overall. They were scheduled to travel to Modesto Christian for a Tuesday, May 3 game after The Times went to press and will be on the road Tuesday, May 10 at Riverbank. They close out the regular season on Thursday, May 12 at home hosting Ripon.



In a road game at Hughson, the JV Lady Cougars came away with a 21-15 win, April 26.

Claire Barkus pitched the full five innings with eight strikeouts. She also helped her own cause at the plate, with a pair of singles and two grand slams.

Isabella Silveira caught all five innings, adding a grand slam and two singles of her own.

“Madison played first base all five innings, stretched and got two saved throws in the dirt,” said head coach Amanda Vanderwall. “She also had two doubles and one single.”

Amanda Aldridge played third, handling two hard hit grounders and making the throws for the putouts at first. Zoey Baracsoa had four singles and a double while Genevieve Casazza had three singles and a double.

Defensively, Cheyenne Ratkiewicz had a great catch in right field.