Winning one of their final two Trans-Valley League games of the season, the Escalon JV softball girls closed out the campaign as champions.
Wednesday, the girls were at Ripon and ended up with a 3-3 tie against the host JV Lady Indians.
“They scored one in the third inning, one in the fourth, one in the seventh,” said coach Malinda Walker. “We scored one in the fourth and two in the sixth.”
Kylee DuBois pitched the first four innings, five strikeouts. Arabella Strach pitched the last three innings with eight strikeouts.
“Our pitchers had an excellent day; Ripon scored their runs on a few of our errors on the field. At this point in the season, the win will come down to who can keep their defense together the longest,” added Walker. “Ripon is a great team on the bases, they didn’t get many runners on base, but when they did, they took every opportunity to steal bases and take chances.”
Offensively for Escalon, in the fourth inning, Arabella Strach hit a triple with one out and no one on base. With two outs, Lexy Underwood hit a single to drive in the first run.
“We were tied up 1-1 at that point and had high energy. Ripon came back to score one more, and we replied with two runs in the sixth,” said Walker.
Strach hit a single to get on, followed by a Kayla Kemp double to drive her in. Kemp then scored on a Ripon defensive error.
“We were up 3 to 2 at that point, however, in the bottom of the seventh, Ripon was able to get one runner on base with a walk, and was able to score her with stolen bases,” Walker explained. “Bella struck out the last three batters to end the game, tied 3-3. Ripon had a great new pitcher who gave us some quality competition this game. We did have a challenging hitting day for the most part, however, Bella went 4-for-4 with a triple and three singles and scored twice. Lexy Underwood also went 2-for-3 with two singles and an RBI.”
Friday, hosting Hilmar, it was a lopsided 26-3 win for the JV girls.
DuBois pitched the first two innings with two strikeouts, Strach the last two innings with six strikeouts. Hilmar scored one in the first with a single, a sacrifice bunt to move her around, and a double. They scored two more in the second inning with a leadoff single and a walk, followed by another single to drive in both runners.
“Our hitting can be described as one rally followed by another rally. Our first inning started with Kylee DuBois getting on base with a walk, followed by Priscilla Nowling’s single. They were both driven in by a home run by Arabella Strach,” Walker said. “That was Bella’s first of two home runs on the day. We continued in that first inning to score 11. Big hitters include Arabella Strach who went 4-for-5 with two home runs, a triple, and a single, with a total of eight RBIs and scoring four times.”
Kayla Kemp went 3-for-3 with two singles and a double, with one run batted in and scoring three times. Priscilla Nowling went 3-for-5 on the day with two doubles and a single with three RBIs and scoring four times.
“This ends our season. We are TVL Champions, going five wins and a tie in league, and 18-3-1 overall,” Walker said. “Arabella Strach, deservingly, will join the varsity squad for the remainder of this season.”
This was Walker’s sixth TVL championship as a coach in nine seasons at the JV level.