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Non-League Games Go In Loss Column For Softball Girls
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Hurting themselves with some errors, Escalon's varsity Lady Cougars suffered two losses on the softball field this week.

They were at Calaveras on Wednesday and lost a 6-1 decision there.

"They got two in the first, one in the second, two in the third and one in the sixth," said coach Dianne Teixeira. "We scored one run in the fifth, Erica Bogar walked and stole two bases, Carmen Dollarhide put down a bunt and got the RBI."

That was all the offense the Lady Cougars could muster, however, as they faced a tough pitcher.

"Their pitcher was the best we've faced so far," Teixeira admitted. "But we had seven errors."

Jennifer Costa got the start on the mound and gave up just six hits, though Calaveras capitalized on the seven Escalon errors to score six runs. Escalon had just two hits, both bunts, while Calaveras had one error. Dollarhide and Amanda Ainsworth had the hits for Escalon.

The JV girls, taking the field for just one game during the week, were also roughed up at Calaveras, falling in a 7-0 contest.

"They were a good hitting team," said JV coach Brandy Thurman. "We made errors and we didn't get on base."

The JV girls did not play again but are also looking to start play in league this week.

"Friday we played Amador and we pretty much took care of the errors but we had no runs," Teixeira said of her varsity squad's second contest of the week.

Amador scored one run in the fifth and added one more in the top of the seventh on a controversial call at the plate. With catcher Shannon Krein blocking the plate, she applied the tag to the runner, appearing to catch her. But the umpire ruled that Krein bobbled the ball momentarily, allowing the runner to get her foot on the base.

Teixeira protested but the umpire did not reverse the call, giving Amador a 2-0 lead. Going into their final at bat down by two instead of just one made it more difficult for the players, said Teixeira.

"I think mentally they psyched themselves out," she admitted. "They were just down."

The Lady Cougars did get a base runner on but she was caught trying to advance to third to end the game.

"We left eight runners on and we had just singles," Teixeira said of scattering seven hits.

Megan Velting pitched and held Amador to just five hits on the day. Each team committed one error.

"Hopefully this week was a rude awakening," Teixeira said, noting that the girls need to prepare both mentally and physically for each opponent.

The girls stand at 4-6 as they close out the preseason schedule. They are scheduled to play at Hughson on Wednesday, March 23 and then host Livingston on Friday, March 25.

"We have to keep it simple," Teixeira said. "We just need to work on things."

The coach said she knows the team has plenty of talent and can be among those battling for league honors and playoff spots. But, she said, they have to believe in themselves in order to play their best on the field.

"It will have to come from within," she said.