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Late Game Rally Pushes Hilmar Softball Past Escalon
Escalon’s Briana Vazquez slides safely into third base during a road game against Hilmar in Trans-Valley League play. Hilmar took a 5-1 win. Photo By Candy Padilla

The Lady Yellowjackets of Hilmar High School remained atop the Trans-Valley League softball standings after besting the Escalon Lady Cougars on Tuesday, March 29 by a score of 5-1. The Yellowjackets overcame an impressive pitching performance by Escalon senior Brooke Davis, who tossed 12 strikeouts in six innings.

Both teams struggled at the plate early on as the game remained scoreless after three-and-a-half innings. Escalon’s Davis had Hilmar batters swinging late, tallying six strikeouts in the first three innings alone. Meanwhile, an error by the Hilmar defense, a base hit and two walks surrendered by Hilmar senior Jenna Gomes had the Lady Cougars threatening for an early score. The Yellowjacket defense was able to rebound, including executing a perfect double play in the top half of the fourth.

In the bottom half of the inning, the Hilmar offense capitalized on Escalon’s own defensive hiccups. Senior Jayme Soars started things off for the Yellowjackets by reaching on an infield single. She used her speed to end up at third base after an Escalon fielding error and scored on a Madison Johnston sacrifice fly.

Hilmar surrendered the short-lived 1-0 lead in the top of the fifth. Escalon junior Briana Vazquez led the inning off by working a walk against Gomes and quickly scored on a base hit by junior Emily Vickers.

The game remained tied at one run apiece heading into the sixth inning. In the top half, Gomes settled into a groove and worked a quick 1-2-3 inning. Hilmar’s offense built off of the momentum in the bottom half of the inning, exploding for four runs. Soares used her speed again to score the go ahead run on another Johnston base hit, and junior Emily Cogswell soon followed up with a two-run double to blow the game open.

Hilmar tacked on another run in the inning after freshman Camryn Mattos’ RBI single, making it a 5-1 game.

The score stood after Gomes closed the game out with another 1-2-3 inning in her seventh inning of work.

“Both pitchers threw great games and we tip our hat to them as they did what they had to do to win the game,” noted Escalon head coach Jeff Borden. “It was 1-1 to the bottom of the sixth when they got some seeing eye hits to close out the win. Brooke Davis gave up five hits and struck out 12 in the loss. Emily Vickers had our lone RBI.”

Escalon rebounded with a shutout win later in the week, as they hosted the Modesto Christian Lady Crusaders on Thursday, March 31 and upended the visitors in a lopsided contest.

“Their players had an incredible attitude and work ethic and they played the game with a lot of passion,” Borden said of the Modesto Christian team.

Escalon improved to 2-2 in league play with the win, 9-6-1 overall, and hope to keep the momentum going.

“Madison Hagglund and Tulsa Carnes combined for a five-inning perfect game in the circle for us,” added Borden of the game with MC.

Shelby Wilder, Tulsa Carnes and Lucy Allbaugh also each had a hit.

This week, Escalon is scheduled to host Riverbank on Thursday, April 7.


Times Editor Marg Jackson contributed to this report.