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Trio Of Early Victories For Varsity Softball Team
Lady Cougar Malia Babasa is on her way to third, getting ready to head for home during Thursday afternoon action against visiting Weston Ranch in varsity softball. Focused on the base running, Babasa also managed to blow a bubble while scoring one of 22 runs Escalon put on the scoreboard in the Valley Oak League contest. Marg Jackson/The Times

Three games in, three wins notched.

Escalon’s varsity softball girls won their lone preseason game by a 2-0 score over Linden, then moved on to Valley Oak League play and shut out Ripon and Weston Ranch.

New head coach Jeff Borden said the Linden game was on March 25, with Brooke Davis taking the mound.

“She had 11 strikeouts, no walks, allowed three hits,” Borden said of his starter.

The home game also saw some fireworks from the plate.

“Malia Babasa, in her first at bat of the season, our first hitter, sent a home run over the fence,” Borden noted.

Escalon picked up another run in the second, an RBI from Davis driving in teammate Bri Vazquez. They would make the two runs stand up, behind the shutdown pitching effort from Davis in the circle.

Kicking off the league campaign, it was an 8-0 victory over Ripon. Davis again was on the mound and this time struck out 14 to lead the way. Offensively, Macie Vickers had double, home run and five RBI.

“We got one in the first, two in the third, one in the fourth, one in the fifth and three in the sixth,” Borden said of piling up the runs.

Thursday, April 1 the girls played host to Weston Ranch and took a lopsided 22-0 win off the field.

“It’s an opportunity to let girls do some things they wouldn’t normally do, play in some positions they might not normally play,” Borden said. “You want to make sure everyone has the opportunity to play.”

With their opponent not able to get anything going, the new Escalon coach said it was still important for his squad to stay focused.

“You have to respect the other team, respect the game,” he explained, noting that Escalon didn’t steal any bases after the second inning, running out to the early lead.

Tulsa Carnes got the start and went two innings, Madison Hagglund pitched three innings.

The offense also rapped out three home runs on the day, with Babasa, Emily Vickers and Faye Hernandez all notching round trippers.

Borden has coached in Ceres and Modesto for the past 20 years but is excited to make the move to coaching the Lady Cougars.

“I have always wanted to come to a program with a tradition like Escalon,” Borden said. “I’m recently retired and this opportunity came up; it just worked out.”

Escalon has a tradition of softball success and while they will be in the Valley Oak League this season, the coach said he anticipates his team to battle it out every time they take the field.

“It’s an amazing group of girls, they’re athletic, they have talent and they have the ability to be great teammates, plus they’re coachable and they know how to win, how to compete,” explained Borden. “They’ll do well and it’s a great challenge to be in the VOL.”

Working two innings in the circle on Thursday, Tulsa Carnes, 14, sends the pitch toward the plate during action against Weston Ranch. Escalon took a 22-0 win in five innings. Marg Jackson/The Times