Escalon’s JV softball squad squared off against Hilmar on Tuesday afternoon, May 1 and, unlike their first meeting in league play, this was a tightly contested game that came down to Escalon’s final at bat in the bottom of the seventh inning.
Hilmar struck first with a single run in the top of the first, Ariel Astabie was pitching for Escalon and held Hilmar scoreless the next three innings. Escalon tied the game at one with a single run on a leadoff triple by Alys Zaslove and a double by Mya Scott. Hilmar answered back, scoring two runs in the top of the fifth but then Escalon answered back with three runs in the bottom of the fifth on a lead off base hit by Astabie and the big blow was a two-run home run by Kailey Costa.
With Escalon leading 4-3 in the sixth inning Hilmar tied the game with two outs and two strikes.
That set up the exciting finale, Escalon winning the game in their final at bat on a lead off base hit by Scott (who went 4-4) and the game winning base hit by Katie Karp.
Astabie pitched the complete game to pick up the win, scattering 10 hits while striking out four.
On Thursday, the JV team traveled to Modesto Christian to face an injury depleted team and won a coach-shortened, three-inning contest 15-0. This closed out a highly successful season for the JV squad, going a perfect 8-0 in league play to claim the Trans-Valley League JV title and going 16-3 overall.
Costa and Karp combined to allow only one hit.
Top hitters for the season were Trista Mathews who batted a torrid .646, Ariel Astabie with a .568 and Brooke Campbell with a .544 batting average. Top pitchers were Kailey Costa who went 9-1 and Ariel Astabie at 5-0.