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Lady Cougars Set Sights On Golf's Second Season
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By winning their final two Valley-Foothill League matches, the Lady Cougar Golf Team finished undefeated in dual match play for the second consecutive season. A 183-239 victory over Calaveras on Tuesday and a tremendous 189-209 victory over second place Bret Harte on Thursday helped to all but assure Escalon of its second league title in as many years if it finishes with a solid effort at the League Tournament.

Against Calaveras, the Lady Cougar linksters turned in a very solid performance on a rugged La Contenta Golf Course. One outstanding round and three very good rounds helped Escalon to topple the Lady Redskins.

"Presli Pilati was outstanding, as she has been all season," coach Rusty Fachner commented. "But we also got some very fine efforts from others as well. Sabrina Luque was extremely solid and Parker Pilati gave us another good effort. I was pleased we played that well on a tough course."

Presli Pilati turned in a score of 39, while Luque posted a 45 and Parker a 49. Nickey Homen fired a 50 and Sage Gabba's 57 and Mary Steves' 59 completed the scoring.

On Thursday, the Lady Cougars knew that they not only had to tackle a tough Greenhorn Creek course, but also handle a Bret Harte team that had improved markedly as the year progressed. In both regards, Escalon answered the call with flying colors.

"They were amazing," said Fachner excitedly. "The 189 score is one of the lowest team scores ever shot at Greenhorn by a visiting squad. Last year we shot a 199 and I was overjoyed with that. This year we crushed that score by ten strokes. It was an amazing effort by an amazing group of golfers. This will help us tremendously as the playoffs approach."

Presli Pilati again carded the low round on the day with a 41. Parker followed right behind her with a 46 and Luque and Homen added solid scores of 51. Steves and Gabba finished at 62 to complete the team scoring.

In addition to the two league matches, the Lady Cougars also took part in the Tracy Invitational at Tracy Golf and Country Club. A tournament that often fields some of the best teams in the Central Valley and the Bay Area, the Lady Cougars walked away with a fourth place finish overall. In shooting a 513 as team, Escalon beat mainly Division 1 and 2 teams as well as some of the better teams from over the Altamont.

"We did a great job," stated Fachner. "We finished behind Granada (who finished second in the state last year), East Union and Tracy. But we also finished ahead of teams like San Ramon and Golden Valley.

We set 510 as our goal and almost accomplished it, so I'm very happy."

The tournament results were, Presli 92, Parker 94, Homen 105, Luque 109, Steves 113 and Gabba 125.

The Lady Cougars went into Monday's League Tournament (Oct. 18) as the favorite to win the league title, but the tournament was past press time for The Times. If the girls took the title, they will move on to Divisionals at Dry Creek Ranch GC on Monday, Oct. 25. At divisional, they will use five scores instead of the four used in the VFL. Fachner feels this gives Escalon a chance to repeat as Section Champions.

"We have real good depth ... better than most. I feel very comfortable with Sage (Gabba) or Kasey John in that number five spot. They can both do the job. We just need to continue getting solid efforts from our top four golfers as well."