It may have been a weeklong break from school, but not from the softball diamond.
Escalon’s varsity Lady Cougars were busy with four games in the NorCal Tournament over Spring Break and came up against some tough opponents, losing three out of four.
The girls had two games on Thursday, two games on Saturday and bounced back from three losses to put their final game in the win column.
They opened up play against Del Oro of Loomis, falling by a 5-1 final. Molly Brown got the start and went five-and-two-thirds innings, allowing seven hits, four walks and striking out two. Arabella Strach pitched the final inning and a third, with two hits and two strikeouts.
“It was a good game, we trailed just 2-1 until the sixth inning,” said head coach Art Brooks.
That’s when Del Oro was able to put some hits together and push runs across the plate, while Escalon’s offense had trouble scoring. Ashley Duval had a couple of hits for the Lady Cougars.
In their second game on Thursday, the girls battled against Gregori, ultimately losing a 6-5 heartbreaker.
“We were down 4-1 going into the seventh and scored four runs in the top half of that inning to go up 5-4,” Brooks said. “But we couldn’t hold the lead.”
Chardae Hoskins got the start and pitched the complete game, striking out six, walking four and scattering 10 hits.
“Hailie Webster had a three-run triple and had four RBIs,” Brooks said.
Also contributing hits were Hannah Boyd, Brown and Hoskins.
Saturday action saw the Lady Cougars take on Notre Dame from the Bay Area, falling in a 4-2 final.
“It was a nine-inning game,” Brooks said. “It was 0-0 until the ninth, Arabella Strach went all nine. They scored in the top of the ninth, we countered with two of our own in the bottom of the inning. We held them scoreless through eight.”
The two runs, however, weren’t enough to overtake the Notre Dame team and their four runs. Strach allowed seven hits and seven walks, notching 11 strikeouts in the game. Mackenzie Duval and Strach had two hits apiece in the loss.
Saturday’s second game went into the win column for Escalon, salvaging one contest for the tournament. They took an 8-4 win over Patterson, with Brown getting the win, striking out five and allowing seven hits. Mackenzie Duval and Hannah Boyd had two hits each to pace the Lady Cougars in the victory.
Just a couple of weeks remain in the Trans-Valley League season for Escalon, the girls entering the final games with an 8-0 record in TVL action. They were scheduled to host Mountain House on Tuesday, April 25 after The Times went to press and go to Hughson on Thursday, April 27. The JV girls will also play on Thursday, then the Lady Cougars have their final regular season home game on Tuesday, May 2 hosting Hilmar, with both the JV and varsity girls taking the field.
The varsity squad travels to Modesto Christian for the regular season finale on Thursday, May 4.