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Ripon, Modesto Christian Teams Fall To Lady Cougars
M Brown
Wins over Ripon and Modesto Christian saw some strong pitching this week from the varsity Lady Cougars, including the work of Molly Brown, shown here, who teamed with Arabella Strach for a shutout win over MC on Tuesday. Marg Jackson/The Times

Action on the diamond this week for Escalon’s varsity softball girls saw them defeat Ripon in a road game and also top visiting Modesto Christian.

At Ripon for a Monday, April 3 contest, the Lady Cougars came away with a 9-1 win.

“Chardae Hoskins got the start, she allowed one run, four hits, one walk, and she struck out 14,” explained head coach Art Brooks. “She came ready to play and it showed.”

Escalon got their scoring started in the third inning with a single from Sage Davis and then a bunt base hit from Mackenzie Duval, who was out at second trying to stretch the bunt into a two-bagger. Twin sister Ashley Duval knocked in the first run of the day with an RBI single, Molly Brown drove in a run and Arabella Strach notched an RBI triple. Hannah Boyd then knocked in two runs with a double. Three more runs scored in the fifth, including a leadoff home run by Ashley Duval, her first of the season, clearing the centerfield fence.

“Everybody got on base,” Brooks said, with several players getting multiple hits.

Strach was 3-for-4 with a triple and two runs batted in; Brown was 2-for-3 with two RBI; Ashley Duval was 2-for-4 with a homer and two RBI; Hoskins went 2-for-4; Hannah Boyd was 2-for-4 with a double and a run batted in. Sage Davis was 2-for-3.

Tuesday at home, hosting Modesto Christian, it was a shutout 13-0 victory for Escalon, scoring early and often.

“It was a run-shortened game,” noted Brooks. “Molly Brown and Arabella Strach both pitched, Molly was the winning pitcher and Arabella went 2-for-3 with an RBI along with pitching.”

Mackenzie Duval had two hits and three stolen bases, Haley Boyd had two hits including a triple and an RBI.

Also getting the chance to get in and contribute were Grace Fitzgerald, 1-for-1 with two walks and a home run, Madison Kimble, 1-for-3 with a triple.

Trans-Valley League action continues; the girls were scheduled to be at Riverbank on Tuesday, April 11 after The Times went to press and will host Ripon in Thursday action, April 13 at 4 p.m.



After splitting earlier games with Hughson (17-4 win) and Hilmar (14-4 loss) Escalon’s younger softball girls battled on the road but fell to a tough Ripon squad on April 3, losing by a 16-4 final.

Escalon scored a run in the second, two in the third, and one in the fourth, while Ripon jumped out with 10 runs in the first, four in the second, one each in the third and fourth innings of the run-shortened game.

“Lauren Trejo got on base in the second inning, hit in with an RBI single by Maddy Johnson. Ariel Astabie and Alys Zaslove both hit singles in the third inning to get on base,” explained head coach Malinda Walker. “Ariel stole home to score, Alys was hit in on an RBI single by Maddy Johnson. Jessie Fernandez was able to get on base in the fourth inning, hit by pitch, and was hit in with a sacrifice fly by Alys Zaslove.”

The team is predominantly freshmen, but all players are learning fast, said Walker.

“Defensively, Katie Karp is behind the plate at catcher, and doing a great job at running the field. Ariel Astabie and Hollie Harding both share the mound as pitchers, and trade off playing second base,” Walker said. “We have a young team, with three sophomores and seven freshmen. We are making great strides defensively.”

The JV girls are scheduled to host Ripon in Thursday afternoon action, April 13.