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Opening Round Win For Lady Cougars, Quarterfinal Loss
Softball Finale
e mound
Players from the infield gather on the mound with pitcher Brooke Davis, 8, during the regular season finale, which was also Senior Night, at Escalon High School before the Lady Cougars moved on to the playoffs. Marg Jackson/The Times

With a 4-3 win over Galt in their playoff opener, the same score a couple of days later ended Escalon’s softball season. The varsity Lady Cougars dropped an extra inning heartbreaker to Orestimba of Newman in the quarterfinals, bowing out of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division 4 playoffs. That ended their hopes of bringing home another blue banner for the softball program.

“We played two epic softball playoff games,” noted head coach Jeff Borden.

Hosting the playoff game against No. 11 Galt, the No. 6 seed Escalon girls got contributions from many players in the victory.

“Brooke Davis got the win with nine strikeouts and only allowing one earned run,” Borden said. “Tulsa Carnes was 2-for-4 with two RBIs; Brooke Davis was 2-for-2 with an RBI.”

The first round game was played on Tuesday, May 17. Escalon scored two runs in the bottom of the first while Galt got one in the second. Two more runs for the Lady Cougars in the fourth made it 4-1 but Galt clawed back for a pair of runs in the fifth to close to within 4-3. But that was as close as they would get, the host Escalon team taking the win. Escalon had four runs on eight hits and one error; Galt had three runs on seven hits and one error.

“Shelby Wilder had a key hit for an RBI. Macie Vickers had a double and Briana Vazquez contributed a hit,” Borden said of the effort on Tuesday.

That put the girls on the road, facing off Thursday, May 19 with Orestimba’s Lady Warriors in Newman. Orestimba, the No. 3 seed team, had a bye in the opening round and came in with an 18-6 overall record.

“Our season ended in a heartbreaking extra inning loss to Orestimba, 4-3,” Borden explained. “We led 3-1 going to the bottom of the sixth when they tied the score.”

Orestimba had jumped on top with a run in the bottom of the first; Escalon got one in the fourth and two in the fifth to take the 3-1 lead. But two runs in the sixth evened the game and Orestimba scratched out a single run in walk-off fashion in the bottom of the eighth.

“We couldn’t push anymore across and they got one with two outs in the bottom of the eighth,” Borden said.

Escalon did have trouble holding late inning leads this season and it was an issue that came back to haunt them in what turned out to be their final contest of the season.

“Brooke Davis helped herself with a double,” added the coach. “Macie Vickers and Tulsa Carnes each had a double, bringing in a run. Emily Vickers also had a hit for an RBI.”

The Lady Cougars also got hits from Lucy Allbaugh and Faye Hernandez. However, noted Borden, they left six runners on base, unable to get the timely hit when needed.

“Brooke Davis’s epic career ended with the loss,” Borden said. “On the game she had 12 strikeouts, finishing with 220 strikeouts in 142 innings, tenth best in the entire section. She had a total of 427 strikeouts in 305 innings.”

Escalon ends the season at 17-11 overall.

Despite the quarterfinal loss, Borden and the squad was pleased to get back to the postseason, after not having a chance to enjoy playoffs last year during the COVID-shortened, no playoff campaign.