In a busy week for the varsity Lady Cougars on the softball field, they put a pair of league wins on the books and then split their make-up games in the NorCal Tournament.
Monday, April 9 the girls started out with a road game at Mountain House and blasted the host Lady Mustangs by a 13-1 final.
“Chardae Hoskins was in the circle, she pitched a one-hitter,” head coach Art Brooks explained. “She had 11 strikeouts and walked three.”
Even before Hoskins took the field, the Lady Cougars had a 3-0 lead, scoring three runs in the top of the first. Keying that outburst were Molly Brown, with a two-run single and Hailie Webster, with an RBI single.
Mountain House scratched for a run in the second inning, cutting the deficit to 3-1, but Escalon didn’t let them stay in the game for long.
“Then we scored nine in the third, getting contributions from up and down the line up,” noted Brooks. “We got one more in the fourth.”
Brown was 2-for-2 on the day with three runs driven in and Webster was 2-for-4 with an RBI. Kayla Kemp had a 3-for-4 day at the plate with three runs driven in, with Morgan Reider and Lexy Underwood each contributing a hit.
Back on the diamond the next day, Escalon hosted Modesto Christian and this time, it was a 16-0 win.
“Molly Brown threw a no-hitter with 12 strikeouts and two walks,” Brooks said.
Again, the varsity girls jumped on top early, scoring five runs in the first. They added five more in the second, two in the third and four in the fourth, winning the run-shortened contest.
It was a day where the offense was hitting on all cylinders, said the coach, with several players having multi-hit games.
Hannah Boyd was 3-for-3 with a double, an inside-the-park home run and three RBI to lead the way. Webster also went 3-for-3 with a triple and three runs batted in; Sage Davis was 2-for-3 with a double and two RBI. Also joining the hit parade was Leticia Gutierrez, 2-for-2 with a double, triple and three RBI. Hoskins was 2-for-4 with a pair of runs driven in, Brown went 2-for-2 and both Reider and Priscilla Nowling had a single and an RBI.
Saturday action saw the girls return to Tracy to make up games that had been rained out the previous weekend in the NorCal Tournament. They faced off first against Bear Creek of Stockton and then took on Elk Grove.
“They are both quality teams and it was good competition,” explained Brooks.
Saturday morning, the girls took a 6-2 win off the field against Bear Creek.
“We got four in the first, one in the second and one in the third,” Brooks said. “They scored in the fourth.”
Hoskins was on the mound and pitched a two-hitter to get the win. Webster paced the offense with two hits and three runs batted in, with Brown and Underwood also driving in runs. Other Lady Cougars collecting hits were Hoskins, Reider, Boyd and Malia Babasa.
It was a much different story in the second game of the day, as Escalon took a 14-0 loss, courtesy of a hard-hitting Elk Grove squad.
“This was the ugly one,” admitted Brooks. “We went up against a good team and we just couldn’t get it done offensively.”
Escalon had its best chance to get on the scoreboard in the first inning, but had baserunners erased on a double play and failed to push a run across the plate. Boyd, with a double, and Bella Strach, with a single, managed the only hits of the game for the Lady Cougars.
Brown started the game and went two-and-a-third innings, allowing seven runs on six hits while walking three and striking out three. Strach came on in relief and went two-and-two-thirds, also allowing seven runs. She gave up six hits and three walks while striking out two.
“They were tough offensively and our defense was a little flat,” Brooks said.
Back to Trans-Valley League action this week, the girls were scheduled to host Ripon on Tuesday, April 17 after The Times went to press and will travel to Riverbank for a game on Wednesday, April 18.