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Wins Over Ripon, Riverbank For Varsity Softball Girls
Escalons Lady Cougars gather in Riverbank during a varsity softball game, welcoming Bella Strach, right, at home plate following a home run, one of many the team blasted against the host Lady Bruins. Strach had a grand slam in the first inning. Ric McGinnis/The Times

A home game against Ripon on Tuesday and a road game at Riverbank on Wednesday both went in the books as wins for the Escalon varsity softball girls.

They hosted the Indians on April 24 and won 7-3.

Chardae Hoskins got the start and pitched a complete game in getting the win, allowing three runs on four hits with 11 strikeouts and three walks.

“They got one run early on a double and a single from their three and four hitters in the first inning,” head coach Art Brooks said of the Lady Indians scoring in their first at bat to go up 1-0.

It was a short-lived lead for the visitors.

In the bottom of the first, Hoskins singled, Morgan Reider bunted her over and she came in to score on an RBI hit from Hannah Boyd.

Escalon took the lead in the third, with Kayla Kemp rapping out a single, then moving over on a bunt base hit from Madison Kimble. The runners ended up on second and third and Malia Babasa drove in Kemp, Lexy Underwood was hit by a pitch and Boyd ripped a two out single to drive in two more. Ripon got one run back in the fourth.

Escalon scored two in the fifth and added an insurance run in the sixth.

“They made a push in the seventh and were able to come up with one more,” Brooks said, leading to the final score.

Boyd was 3-for-4 with a double and three runs batted in, Bella Strach was 2-for-3 and collecting one hit apiece were Hoskins, Haile Webster, Kemp and Kimble.

Wednesday at Riverbank, it was a much different contest, as the Lady Cougars prevailed in a five-inning run-shortened game, topping the Lady Bruins 18-2.

“This game had a lot of offense,” noted Brooks. “We scored four in the first, on a Bella Strach grand slam, then we added seven more in the second.”

Molly Brown got the win in the circle, allowing two runs on three hits, striking out eight and walking one.

Escalon kept the pressure on, scoring three in the third and four in the fifth.

Riverbank’s two runs came in the bottom of the first inning, on a two-run homer.

For the Lady Cougars, Strach had two home runs and six runs batted in, while Reider connected on her first home run of the season as well.

Leticia Gutierrez also gave her teammates plenty to cheer about as she unleashed a three-run shot.

“Everybody was pretty excited about that one,” Brooks said.

Also contributing to the hit parade were Brown, 3-for-4 with a double, Webster, 3-for-3 with a double, and two hits each from Hoskins, Boyd and Reider. Underwood added one hit.

Escalon improved to 7-0 in Trans-Valley League play, 12-7 overall with the wins this past week.

They were scheduled to host Mountain House on Tuesday, April 24 after The Times went to press and will travel to Hughson on Thursday.

“That’s a big rematch, they are right on our heels,” Brooks said of looking to sweep the season series against the Lady Huskies and solidify their standing in league.

Game time on Thursday is 4 p.m.



(JV information provided by David Astabie)

Escalon’s JV girls squared off against TVL rival Ripon on Tuesday, April 17 in a home game on the Escalon field.

The host team took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first on a walk to Ariel Astabie and a run scoring double by Trista Mathews. The score remained 1-0 until the fourth inning when Ripon tied it with a single run.

Escalon answered back in the bottom of the fourth by sending 13 batters to the plate and scoring seven runs, then followed that up by scoring three more in the fifth inning and stopping the game by way of the 10-run rule. They won the game by a final of 11-1.

Big hitters were Trista Mathews and Kailey Costa with doubles and Brooke Campbell with two doubles and a triple. Costa pitched all five innings allowing only one run and striking out five.

The JV squad improved to 12-3 overall with the win and now have a 4-0 league record.