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Varsity Softball Girls Kick Off League Play With Win
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Lady Cougar Haley Boyd, 5, puts the bat on the ball during Thursday afternoon action in Trans-Valley League play against Riverbank. She had three hits and two runs batted in for Escalon in a 10-0 win. Marg Jackson/The Times

Hosting the Riverbank Lady Bruins on Thursday, March 16, the Escalon varsity softball squad made quick work of the visitors, taking a 10-0 victory in the Trans-Valley League opener.

Head coach Art Brooks said his team scored early, putting five runs on the scoreboard in the first inning and adding five more in the second. They held Riverbank off the scoreboard all day, the game ending after Riverbank’s at bat in the top of the fifth due to the 10-run rule.

“Chardae Hoskins went the distance, she was the winning pitcher,” Brooks said. “She struck out eight, allowed four hits and walked just one.”

The visiting Lady Bruins, however, could not find a way to get any of their runners across the plate and suffered the TVL shutout.

Jumping on top early, Escalon started things out with a hit by Mackenzie Duval in the bottom of the first, followed by a Lexi Underwood sacrifice bunt. Hoskins helped her own cause with an RBI double, then she was driven in by a Molly Brown RBI double. Hannah Boyd drove in Brown with a single, Boyd came in to score on a Hailie Webster triple, with Haley Boyd then ripping a single to drive in Webster for the fifth run of the frame.

Many of the same players were involved in the run production in the second inning as well.

Mackenzie Duval reached on an error and stole second, then Underwood reached first on a dropped third strike, Duval making it to third on the play. She then scored on a wild pitch that moved Underwood to second. Hoskins came through again, this time with an RBI triple and Brown followed that with a two-run homer to make it 9-0. Arabella Strach was hit by a pitch to get on base, Haley Boyd notched an RBI triple to make it a 10-run lead.

“That was pretty much the game,” Brooks said. “I was able to get all my subs in, everyone got a chance to play.”

For the game, Haley Boyd was 3-for-3 with a triple and two runs batted in, Hoskins was 2-for-3 with a double, triple and two RBIs, Brown was 2-for-3 with a double, two-run homer and three runs batted in while Webster, Hannah Boyd and Mackenzie Duval all collected hits; Webster and Boyd each driving in a run.

League action this week will see the Lady Cougars on the road. They were scheduled to play at Ripon on Tuesday, March 21 after The Times went to press and will be at Mountain House on Thursday, March 23.

The junior varsity girls, with coach Malinda Walker, did not have any games this past week, as Riverbank does not field a JV team. They were scheduled to play at Ripon along with the varsity but Mountain House doesn’t have a JV team, either, so their only game this week was Tuesday.

Escalon, Ripon, Hilmar and Hughson are the only TVL schools fielding JV softball teams this season.