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Mid-season TVL stumble for varsity softball squad
Boys win non-league contests
Escalon’s Grace Spurgeon makes contact in an at bat here late in the game against Livingston on Friday; she rapped out a double but the visiting Lady Wolves held on for the one-run win. Marg Jackson/The Times

Taking a pair of tough one-run losses, Escalon’s varsity softball girls ended play last week sitting in fourth place, tied with Riverbank and Hilmar in the Trans-Valley League standings.

They were at Ripon for action on April 17 and fell in nine innings by a 3-2 final.

“Madison Babasa pitched a great game for us,” said head coach Caitlin Brooks. “The girls played Ripon tough until the end. Madson went 2-for-4 and Violette Kent and Arianna Velasco went 1-for-3.”

Friday, the girls were on the home field and faced off against Livingston. This time, it was a 6-5 loss in regulation; Escalon got the tying run on in the top of the seventh, a double from catcher Grace Spurgeon, but couldn’t get the run across the plate.

Babasa was 2-for-3 on the day, Velasco was 2-for-2 with a pair of runs driven in and Kent was 2-for-4 with a pair of RBI. Each of them also had a stolen base in the game.

Shelby Wilder got the start on the mound, she scattered 10 hits, walked three and struck out one.

Brooks said this could be the most important week of the season for the 2-3 Lady Cougars, as they face off with the two teams they are tied with; traveling to Riverbank on April 24 and heading to Hilmar on April 26.

“This is the start of the second round of TVL,” Brooks added.

The varsity squad will look to turn it around and get some victories on the books this week.


JV Girls

At Ripon, it was a tough 15-2 loss for the JV girls and head coach Lexy Underwood said as a whole the team struggled hitting the ball. The standout was Rylee Peavy, notching a hit in every at bat. Tatem Esteves had two hits and Aniston Hunt had a total of five strikeouts on the mound. Peavy stole three bases; the team collectively had five.

It was a much better outcome on Friday, the JV girls taking down Livingston 13-8 in the home contest.

“Chloe Green started on the mound while Aniston Hunt closed for us,” Underwood said. “Green drove in a total of four runs on three hits. Hunt was able to get on with a hit by pitch that helped us tie it up in the bottom of the fourth.”

Other keys were Peavy going 2-for-3 and Hunt working out two walks.

“Not one error by the team this game,” Underwood said. “The energy was high the entire game. The girls wanted another win under their belt and were able to come back and take it.”


Varsity Baseball

With their TVL bye week, Escalon’s varsity boys stayed busy, facing off with Buhach Colony in two games.

Traveling to Atwater on April 16, the boys came away with the lopsided 14-1 victory.

“We 10-runned them,” head coach Gino Franceschetti said. “Ian Burk pitched three innings and Ryan Murphy pitched two. Pitchers threw a lot of strikes and we had a really good offensive day.”

Leading the charge was Wesley Radford, going 2-for-3 with two RBI and Lorenzo Teixeira, 1-for-3 with three RBI.

“Thursday we had a walk off win, 6-5,” Franceschetti said.

Greg Adams got the start on the mound but had some struggles getting in rhythm. Jamin Miller came on in relief and pitched well, said the coach.

“Jamin pitched four innings and only gave up one hit and had eight strikeouts,” Franceschetti said. “Nico Franzia had a big offensive day, going 3-for-4 with three RBI with a game-tying hit in the seventh, scoring two runs.”

Notching the game winning hit on the day was Teixeira, who also went 3-for-4 with a trio of runs batted in.

Escalon ended the week in a tie with Hughson for first place in the Trans-Valley League play. They are scheduled to face off with Modesto Christian this week; they were to host the Crusaders on April 23 and travel to Modesto on April 25.


JV Boys

On the road Tuesday, April 16, the JV baseball boys shut out the Buhach Colony Thunder, 6-0. Escalon scored a run in the fourth, added three in the fifth and put two more insurance runs on the books in the seventh. They had seven hits as a team.

“The boys played well and Mason Fiser pitched outstanding,” said head coach Carlos Herrera. “He scattered three hits, had nine strikeouts and no walks.”

Senior Shelby Wilder sends the pitch toward the plate in action against Livingston on Friday. The teams traded runs for much of the game but the visitors edged out host Escalon, 6-5. Marg Jackson/The Times