Taking two wins in two games, the Escalon varsity Lady Cougars have closed out the regular season and are ready to move on to the playoffs. Standing at 19-4, the girls are also 12-0 and winners of the Trans-Valley League title.
Though they lost an extra inning contest at Hughson earlier in the season, head coach Art Brooks said he was notified that Hughson “turned themselves in” for inadvertently using an ineligible player and took the forfeit, awarding the win to Escalon.
On the field, Escalon shut out Hilmar in Tuesday afternoon action, May 2 and then shut out Modesto Christian on May 4.
“Tuesday was Senior Day,” Brooks said of honoring Ashley Duval, Mackenzie Duval and Haley Boyd for their contributions to the team.
“Mackenzie started all four years at the varsity level and they all have been great for the program,” said Brooks of his senior trio.
After the ceremonies, Escalon got down to business and shut down the Yellowjackets in an 11-0 final, going just five innings.
Arabella Strach went the distance, allowing just two hits, striking out six. She walked five and hit one batter but didn’t allow a run.
Escalon jumped out with four runs in the first, one in the second and added six in the third.
Notching two hits apiece were Chardae Hoskins Molly Brown and Strach, with Hoskins and Strach driving in two runs each, Brown driving in three.
“Getting one hit each were Morgan Reider, Sage Davis and Haley Boyd,” Brooks added.
Thursday afternoon saw the Lady Cougars go on the road, traveling to nearby Modesto to take on Modesto Christian.
“We took a 13-0 win, got seven runs in the first inning and our offense pounded out 18 hits,” said Brooks. “Ashley Duval hit her second home run of the season, Molly Brown went 3-for-3 and Priscilla Nowling was 2-for-3 with four RBI.”
Collecting two hits apiece in the offensive display were Mackenzie Duval, Strach, Hailie Webster, Reider and Madison Kimble.
“Grace Fitzgerald and Chardae had one hit apiece,” Brooks said. “Molly got the start on the mound but all three girls, Molly, Chardae and Arabella, pitched.”
The shutout wins lifted Escalon to 12 league victories and they finish the TVL campaign undefeated, courtesy of the Hughson forfeit and their own 11 wins earned on the field. They had a bye on Tuesday, May 9 and now await the playoff seedings.
“We’ll find out about the brackets on May 11,” said the coach, with the girls getting ready for postseason play and, hopefully, a deep run into the playoffs.