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Fourth Place Showing For Varsity Softball
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Varsity head coach Art Brooks, back to the camera at left, rallies the troops during earlier season action on the home diamond when the players come in from being on the field. The girls are on the road this week, playing today (April 15) at Hilmar. Marg Jackson/The Times


Getting in some games during the Spring Break week, it was a solid series of contests for Escalon’s varsity softball squad.

The girls traveled to the NorCal Tournament hosted in Tracy and earned a split of their four games, taking home fourth place honors overall.

In the opener for the girls, they crafted a 13-3 win over Downey, with Natalie Arnold getting the win on the mound and Jordan Roberts pitching solidly in relief.

“Mackenzie Duval was 4-for-5 with two runs batted in and two stolen bases,” said head coach Art Brooks. “Haylie Corriea went 3-for-4 with a home run and three RBIs.”

Notching two hits apiece were Molly Brown, with one of them a round tripper, along with Arnold, Chardae Hoskins and Roberts, with a pair of doubles. Cindy DeFreitas also ripped a double in the win.

Next up, the squad got a 10-1 win over Gustine.

“Chardae Hoskins went the distance, she allowed four hits and struck out seven,” Brooks said of the strong performance.

She was more than supported offensively, as the Lady Cougar bats got going again.

“Natalie Arnold was 3-for-4 with three RBIs, Haylie Corriea was 2-for-4 with a home run and three RBIs.”

Duval was 2-for-4, Brown was 2-for-4 and drove in three. Hoskins, DeFreitas, Stacy Stewart and Emily Avalos had two hits apiece.

“That put us into the winner’s bracket,” Brooks said of the opening round twin wins. “We then lost to El Capitan by a 2-1 score.”

Down 2-0, Escalon managed to get one run on the board in the sixth but couldn’t get the game tied up.

“We played a great game,” Brooks said, pleased with the effort. “Jordan Roberts pitched five innings, Chardae Hoskins pitched two and we got hits from Duval, Hoskins, Corriea and Laura Brasil.”

In the battle for third place honors, Escalon had the lead late but were unable to hold on and took a 5-4 loss to Mariposa, settling for fourth place.

“We had the lead going into the bottom of the sixth, we were up 4-3,” Brooks explained. “But a couple of walks and a hit, we were down 5-4.”

Escalon got the runners on in the top of the seventh to mount a threat, but couldn’t bring them home.

Brown got the start and went four-plus innings, with Hoskins and Arnold both seeing some action in relief.

Corriea went 2-for-3 and drove in three runs. Arnold, Roberts and Ariel Strach all collected hits as well.

“As far as the tournament, they did a really good job,” Brooks said of his team putting in a solid effort every time on the field.

He is hoping they carry that over to this week, as they get back into Trans-Valley League action. The girls will be at Hilmar today, April 15, to face the Yellowjackets.



The JV Lady Cougars came home from the NorCal Tournament with second place honors, winning three and tying one.

“We took second to the team we tied,” explained head coach Malinda Walker.

The girls started off with an 8-4 win over El Capitan and got past Downey, 4-3. They then tied Kimball 4-4 and wrapped up their tournament action with another win, 4-3, over Gregori.

The 3-0-1 showing earned them second place and they are also back in action for TVL play today, April 15, traveling to Hilmar for a 4 p.m. contest.