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Softball Girls Finish Season With Win
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After a 6-3 loss at home Wednesday to nemesis Patterson, the Escalon varsity Lady Cougars came back to win on the road Friday in their softball season finale.

Visiting Patterson put two runs on the board in the first inning Wednesday against Escalon, putting the girls in an early hole. But they battled back, scoring a run in the first and another in the second to tie the game.

Errors were the problem, though, as the Tigers capitalized on the Lady Cougar miscues to get their early runs.

"That's what happened the last time with them, the first inning was bad," said coach Dianne Teixeira.

She was pleased to see her squad stay positive and get a run back in their half of the frame.

"Jennifer Costa singled, stole second, Amanda Ainsworth got on with a bunt, they both stole and Mandy San Julian drove in Jennifer with a single," Teixeira explained.

In the second, the host squad tied it up. Courtney Sperry walked, Carmen Dollarhide singled and the two stole a base. Stephanie Jones got on with a bunt and Costa then drove in a run with a ground out.

Patterson put another run on the board in the third and one in the fourth, then put the game away with two runs in the sixth. Escalon scored a single run in the bottom of the seventh but couldn't catch the Tigers.

Costa walked, moved up on an error and then scored on a passed ball with the third run for Escalon.

"What did it was the two (Patterson) runs in the sixth, that deflated us," Teixeira agreed.

Costa went the distance on the mound, allowing six runs on four hits, striking out three and walking two.

Teixeira said the Patterson coach was complimentary following the game, noting that it is always tough to play at Escalon.

Costa had an RBI and two runs scored, Stephanie Jones had a 2-for-3 day at the plate.

"She's been splitting time with Courtney Sperry in the outfield and is always ready to play," said Teixeira.

At Riverbank on Friday, the girls took the field knowing they were not going to the postseason.

"Basically we were playing for pride," Teixeira noted. "We won, 5-1."

Riverbank did take an early 1-0 lead, scoring in the bottom of the second. Escalon countered with one run in the fourth, two in the sixth and two more in the seventh. They rapped out 11 hits on the day.

Host Riverbank stole their run, getting one in during a rundown play.

Escalon got an RBI double from San Julian in the fourth, driving in Costa, who had walked. In the sixth, Costa walked and stole a base, then San Julian singled and both came in on Erica Bogar's single. In the seventh, Sperry walked, Dollarhide doubled and both came in on a double by Kelly Colin.

Megan Velting pitched all seven innings in the finale, allowing one run on three hits. She walked two and struck out two.

San Julian was the offensive leader, going 3-for-5 with a single, double and triple, a run scored and an RBI.

Bogar was 2-for-4 with two RBI, Colin went 1-4 with two RBI.

With no postseason action, the girls did not make up a previously rained out game with Ripon Christian and closed the season with a 7-6 mark in Trans-Valley League play. They were 10-11 overall.

"We were better, I think, than our record indicates," said Teixeira. "The team really came together, it was great, even with the losses, we still believed in each other."