Starting out the week with a no-hitter and ending with a washout, Escalon’s varsity Lady Cougars softball team went 3-for-3 in the games they did get to play.
The squad hosted Manteca in a Wednesday, March 9 contest and behind the no-hit pitching of sophomore Chardae Hoskins, took a 12-0 win.
“It was a run-shortened game, Chardae went five innings, allowed no hits and struck out six,” said head coach Art Brooks. “The defense was also sharp out there.”
Natalie Arnold got the Lady Cougars on the board first with a solo home run over the left-center field fence in the first inning. Escalon poured it on with seven runs in the second and added one in the third. They scored three in the fourth and since Manteca got no runs in the top of the fifth, Escalon won via the 10-run rule.
Arnold was 2-for-3 with the home run and three runs driven in while Hoskins helped her own cause as well, 2-for-3 with a double and three RBIs. Ashley Duval was 2-for-3 with a pair of RBIs, Mackenzie Duval was 2-for-4 with a triple. Cindy DeFreitas was 2-for-2 and had a walk while Morgan Reider was 2-for-3 and Molly Brown also added a hit.
On Thursday, Escalon traveled to the first day of the Jackson Tournament and faced off with Amador in the opener.
“We got a 4-0 win, Molly Brown got the start and she pitched seven innings, had nine strikeouts and allowed three hits,” Brooks said. “We came out a little flat but got one in the first and three in the third.”
Even though it was somewhat of a lackluster effort, it was enough to get the win. Brown was the catalyst, going 2-for-3 with a double, triple and two RBIs, while Haylie Corriea had a double and single. Mackenzie Duval had a pair of hits, with Hoskins and DeFreitas notching one hit each.
The second game of the day saw Hoskins take the mound against Argonaut and the Escalon varsity girls got another shutout win, taking down the Lady Mustangs 5-0.
“Their leadoff hitter got on with a single but she was thrown out trying to stretch it to a double,” explained Brooks. “Chardae allowed one hit and had 10 strikeouts in the game.”
The team itself was also livelier in the second contest of the day, talking more, encouraging each other and parlaying the energy into the victory.
“They played really hard that game,” agreed Brooks.
Two runs in the first, one in the second, one in the fourth and one in the fifth clinched the win for Escalon.
Strong base running helped Escalon make the most of their opportunities and they had several stolen bases on the day. Notching hits were Ashley Duval with a double and singles from Hoskins, Corriea, Brown, DeFreitas and Hailie Webster.
“We had ourselves all set up,” Brooks said of being in the winner’s bracket at the tourney. “But we got rained out on Saturday so we didn’t get to finish the tournament.”
This week, the varsity girls are slated to travel to Bret Harte on Wednesday, March 16 and then host Downey at home on Friday, March 18.
Malinda Walker is back coaching the JV girls and they were busy this week as well.
Wednesday, they pummeled Manteca by a 17-0 final in five innings. Kylee DuBois pitched four innings with six strikeouts and one hit allowed. Arabella Strach pitched the final inning, striking out all three batters she faced.
“Big inning in second, Lexy Underwood led off with a single, Kayla Kemp hit her in with a triple,” noted Walker.
Kiara Ancheta singled, Grace Fitzgerald doubled her home. Escalon scored one run in the first, four in the second, nine in the fourth and capped it off with three in the fifth.
“Our second game this week was in Sutter Creek for the Dandelion Days softball tournament,” Walker said. “We beat Stagg 9-0.”
DuBois pitched two innings with five strikeouts, one walk and no hits. Strach went a pair of innings as well, duplicating the stats of DuBois.
Key hits were a first inning three-RBI double by Madison Kimble and a leadoff double in the third by Kemp. The JV Lady Cougars jumped on Stagg with five runs in the first, and added four more in the third.
“The Dandelion Tournament games for Saturday were rained out but we hope to finish those games in the next month,” said Walker.
The girls were slated to be at Bret Harte today, March 16 and are back on the home diamond on Friday when the welcome Downey to town.