Four home runs on Tuesday lifted Escalon’s varsity Lady Cougars to a 14-0 road win over Riverbank in Trans-Valley League play.
The girls then hosted Ripon and battled back to send the game to extra innings, earning a thrilling 10-9 victory over the Indians.
On Tuesday, Escalon just had too much firepower for Riverbank to withstand, scoring in every inning of the run-shortened contest.
“We scored one in the first, one in the second, three in the third, three in the fourth,” said head coach Art Brooks. “Then we broke it open with six runs in the fifth.”
Chardae Hoskins got the win in the circle, allowing just two hits, no walks and striking out 12 in five innings of work.
“Offensively, Molly Brown was 4-for-4 with two home runs and four RBI,” Brooks said of the team leader on the day. “Mackenzie Duval was 3-for-4 with four stolen bases, Chardae was 2-for-3 with a homer and three RBI.”
Also contributing were Arabella Strach, 2-for-3 with a double, Hannah Boyd, 1-for-2 with a home run and a walk, Madison Kimble had a single, Grace Fitzgerald had a double and drove in two runs.
Back at home for a Thursday game with rival Ripon, it looked as though the Lady Indians were going to escape with the win to even the season series, as they had a 7-1 lead heading into the bottom of the sixth.
“Wow,” Brooks said simply of the game. “We ended up winning 10-9 in 10 innings, to come back against a good team like that, the girls just wouldn’t quit.”
The victory kept Escalon’s record spotless in TVL play, improving to 6-0.
It was pitching by committee for the Lady Cougars, as they had Hoskins in the circle to start the game, Molly Brown coming on in relief and Arabella Strach getting a big out in the top of the seventh and staying in for the next few innings to get the win.
Escalon took an early 1-0 lead with a single from Hoskins, who moved to second on a passed ball, stole third and scored on a passed ball.
After that, it was all Ripon as they found ways to poke the ball through, send it over the outfielders’ heads, get a few steals and build up what looked to be an insurmountable lead.
“It was 7-1 going into the bottom of the sixth,” Brooks explained, noting that four runs that inning got his team back in the game.
Mackenzie Duval and Ashley Duval each got on with a single, then Hoskins sent a three-run homer over the left field fence.
“She got all of it,” said Brooks. “It went about 250 feet, it was to left-center and that made it a 7-4 game.”
Hannah Boyd reached on an error and Priscilla Nowling went in as a pinch runner; she moved to second and then to third on successive passed balls, coming in to score on a Hailie Webster RBI single to trim the lead to 7-5.
In the top of the seventh, Brown got into a bit of trouble, walking a couple of hitters, and she gave way to Strach with two on and two out.
“Bella got the third out,” Brooks said, keeping the deficit at two runs.
In the bottom of the seventh, Sage Davis singled, Mackenzie Duval singled and Hoskins followed with an RBI double to make it 7-6. Brown then ripped an RBI single to tie the score at 7-7.
Ripon scored two runs in the eighth to take the 9-7 lead but the Lady Cougars were up to the task, getting two runs in the bottom of the frame. Webster and Morgan Reider each got on base, Mackenzie Duval driving in Webster with a single. Ashley Duval then walked and with two outs, Hoskins notched a hit that brought Reider in to tie the game.
“Mackenzie tried to score but she was out at the plate,” Brooks explained of having to settle for the 9-9 tie.
The tenth inning saw the international tie-breaker rule brought into play, with the runner starting at second base for the Lady Indians. Some good defense kept Ripon off the board and Escalon had a runner at second to start the bottom of the inning, Webster on at second. She moved to third on a passed ball.
“With one out, freshman Sage Davis got a hit right up the middle to bring in the winning run, her teammates were jumping all over her,” Brooks said, chuckling.
The freshman’s timely clutch hit gave host Escalon the riveting 10-9 victory.
“Playing and coaching, this was one of my favorite games,” Brooks said. “The team just showed so much heart.”
Refusing to lose, the Lady Cougars improved to 8-0 in league play.
They are scheduled to travel to play in the Nor Cal Classic Tournament during Spring Break week, starting with a Thursday, April 20 game against West of Tracy.
With just one game on their schedule for the week, the JV girls hosted Ripon on Thursday, April 13 but came out on the wrong end of the final score. Ripon used some walks and timely hits to put away the host team by a 10-1 decision. Escalon’s JV girls did make some nice plays in the field but had a tough time getting their own runners on base against the Ripon pitcher. The squad will be back in action for league play on Thursday, April 27 taking on Hughson on the road and then are scheduled to host Hilmar in their TVL finale on the home field Tuesday, May 4.