An early 6-2 lead for the varsity softball girls did not hold up on the road and they ultimately took an 11-7 loss to Ceres.
The season-opening non-league contest on the road Friday, Feb. 22 saw Escalon take a 2-0 lead with two runs in the first, then go up 3-0 with one more in the second. Ceres came back with two in their half of the second to trim the lead to 3-2, with Escalon scoring three in the third. That gave the Lady Cougars a short-lived 6-2 lead, though head coach Art Brooks said he felt that was a fairly comfortable lead after the top of the third.
However, Ceres charged back with six runs in the bottom of the third to overtake Escalon, 8-6. Ceres added an insurance run in the fourth, making it 9-6, and also put single tallies on the scoreboard in the fifth and sixth for an 11-6 lead. Escalon pushed one run across in the top of the seventh but couldn’t get any closer, falling by the 11-7 final.
Bella Strach got the start on the mound and allowed five hits over three-plus innings, walked eight, struck out three and hit one batter. Brooke Davis came on in relief and went three-plus innings, striking out three and allowing three hits.
“We were ahead, going into the bottom of the third but then we kind of had a meltdown,” said Brooks. “We just couldn’t get it back.”
Lexy Underwood went 2-for-4 with two doubles and a run batted in; Sage Davis was 2-for-3 with two doubles, an RBI and a stolen base; contributing one hit each were Strach, Malia (Lia) Babasa, Hailie Webster and Marissa Gonzalez, who also drove in a run.
The JV girls, meanwhile, have a new head coach this year in EHS alum and former softball standout Kristin Beckman, in her first head coaching position. The young JV team fell in their season opener to Ceres as well.
Action for the softball girls this week will depend on the weather, with rain in the forecast. Scheduled games are Wednesday, Feb. 27 hosting Orestimba, and Thursday, Feb. 28 hosting Lodi.