A win at home on Tuesday for the varsity Lady Cougar softball squad was followed up by a win on the road Thursday. Taking down the pair of Trans-Valley League opponents was done in two distinctly different fashions, one game resulting in a one-run win, the other by a 12-1 final.
Hosting Hughson on Tuesday, March 27, the varsity girls walked off with a hard-fought 2-1 win.
“It was a good game,” agreed head coach Art Brooks. “Chardae Hoskins was in the circle, she had seven strikeouts and allowed four hits; she was the winning pitcher.”
Hughson had two hits and scratched out a run in the first inning to take an early 1-0 lead. Hoskins, however, got the run back in the bottom of the frame.
“She hit a leadoff home run to make it 1-1,” Brooks said.
The game was tied the rest of the way through until Escalon came up to bat in the bottom of the seventh.
“Chardae singled, Morgan Reider moved her over, she went to third on a passed ball,” Brooks said. “Then she was able to score on a wild pitch, the ball was jarred loose in the collision at home plate.”
That was the winning run for Escalon in the 2-1 victory.
“We played excellent defense,” added Brooks.
The offense also had a strong day, though it only translated to two runs.
Hoskins had two singles, a double and a home run in a 4-for-4 day with two runs scored. Hannah Boyd, Malia Babasa and Kayla Kemp all had singles, Lexy Underwood had a double.
It wasn’t nearly as much of a nailbiter on Thursday, as the girls went on the road to Hilmar and came away with a 12-1 win to improve to 3-0 in league play.
“This was a good team win, we had 15 hits, everyone contributed,” explained Brooks. “The big thing is we were able to move runners over on six different occasions with bunts.”
Escalon scored two in the third, two in the third, four in the fifth, one in the sixth and three in the seventh. Hilmar got just one run in the third inning.
Hoskins again did the pitching and had a dozen strikeouts on the day, allowing just one run on three hits.
Offensively, leaders for the varsity Lady Cougars included Hoskins, 4-for-4 with a triple and three RBI; Molly Brown, 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles and three runs batted in; Bella Strach, 2-for-4 with a double and two RBI; Hailie Webster, 1-for-3 with an RBI; Underwood with a double and Kemp, Boyd, Babasa and Priscilla Nowling each contributing a single.
The girls will be in action over Spring Break with play in the NorCal Tournament hosted in Tracy, starting with a 3 p.m. game Thursday, April 5 against Patterson, followed by a Saturday game, time and opponent to be determined.
Two league games both went in the win column for the young Lady Cougars, under the leadership of first year head coach Jordon Costa.
“We got a 9-8 win over Hughson and a 21-5 win against Hilmar,” Costa said.
Much like their varsity counterparts, the JV girls battled in a close contest against the visiting Huskies and then pounded out the hits and runs to take the road win over the Yellowjackets. At Hilmar, the JV squad scored two runs in the first and four in the third, then erupted late with seven runs in the sixth and eight in the seventh. Hilmar had a run in the second, two in the fourth, one in the fourth and one in the seventh.
Earlier in non-league action, the JV girls played to a 13-0 shutout victory over Ceres.
Next up, the girls head to Tracy to take on Kimball in a 3:30 p.m. tournament game on Thursday, April 5 and are scheduled to play Gregori in tournament action on Friday, April 6 at 10:15 a.m.