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Three More League Wins For Varsity Softball

Playing a busy schedule this week, the varsity Lady Cougar softball team had two regular contests and a make up game, winning all three to stay perfect in TVL action.

The girls were home against Ripon on Tuesday, April 21 and took a 6-0 decision off the field. Caitlin Brooks threw a no-hitter, walked just one and struck out 11 Lady Indians in a dominating performance. Her teammates backed her up, scoring more than enough runs.

Escalon had six runs on five hits and one error. Ripon had no runs, no hits and five errors.

In the second inning, Noelle Bellino singled and Sam Lorigo moved her to second on what turned out to be a bunt base hit. Tori Jones then walked and Casey Schmidig worked out a walk to get the RBI. In the third, Brooks singled and scored on a shot by Bellino that was mishandled by the right fielder.

The rest of the runs came in during the fourth inning, the Lady Cougars capitalizing on errors and getting a two-RBI double from Rachel Frasier to seal the win. Lounette Jackson also singled in the inning.

At Riverbank on Wednesday for a make-up of a previously rained out game, it was a 2-0 win but it was a tough battle.

"We were struggling," coach Dianne Teixeira admitted of not getting much going offensively.

With Riverbank hurler Carlye Avey keeping their bats in check, Escalon had to take some risks in the game. Frasier reached on a single in the sixth and moved to second on a passed ball.

"I took a chance, I had Rachel steal third and she was able to come home on an overthrow," Teixeira said of exploiting some of the host Lady Bruins' defensive lapses.

They added an insurance run in the seventh. Lorigo singled and stole second. She was moving on the throw when Casey Schmidig hit the ball sharply to short and never stopped running, catching the fielders unaware as she sped home. The ball off Schmidig's bat went for an out but the first baseman did not respond quickly enough to try and throw Lorigo out at the plate.

Escalon had five hits in the game, with Lorigo notching two, as well as getting singles from Frasier and Kattie Schmidig and a triple by Lounette Jackson accounting for the offense.

Brooks struck out 17, allowed one hit, walked two and hit three batters.

Thursday, the girls were at Ripon Christian and won by a 7-0 decision, scoring three in the fourth, three in the fifth and one in the seventh

Brooks doubled to drive home Frasier, who had singled, in the fourth, with two more runs scoring on an error by the second baseman. Jackson, Kattie Schmidig and Brodie all notched RBI singles in the fifth and they manufactured another run in the seventh after Kattie Schmidig singled, moved up on a fielders choice and scored on an error.

Brooks again pitched and struck out 13, giving up one hit and two walks. Escalon had seven runs on seven hits.

The varsity Lady Cougars improved to 11-0 in league play with the wins and are 21-1 overall. Still, Teixeira wants the girls to stay grounded and focused.

"We need to make sure they don't get too cocky," she said. "Defensively we're doing fine but we need to stay focused at the plate and get the bats going."

The girls will play a pair at home this week, closing out with Riverbank on Thursday, April 30. They were scheduled to host Hughson on Tuesday, after The Times went to press. On Thursday, seniors Kattie Schmidig, Jordon Costa, Noelle Bellino and Natalie Rey will be recognized for their contributions to the softball program during their years at EHS.

They go on the road to wrap up league play next week, at Modesto Christian and Ripon.