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Varsity Softball Girls Look For Consistent Play
Hitting hasn't been too much of a problem for Escalon softball in the early going; it has been defense that has hurt the squad.

The varsity Lady Cougars took an 8-5 loss to Riverbank on Wednesday and then were on the road and lost a one-run game, 5-4, to host Ripon on Friday.

"It seems to be that first inning, when we have a bunch of errors, and give them (opponents) their runs," said coach Dianne Teixeira. "Then we have to battle back."

That was the formula that Riverbank used to walk off with the win on Wednesday, March 21, capitalizing on errors, passed balls and walks.

"I think they just had two earned runs," said the coach, with those coming on a two-run homer over the left field fence from Amanda Lopez.

Escalon mounted a comeback of its own, cutting the Riverbank lead to 5-3 at one point, but was unable to get all the way back.

"We need to not walk as many batters, cut down on the passed balls and make the plays," Teixeira explained.

Sharing the pitching duties on Wednesday were Marissa Dominguez and Ashley Schuurman. Offensive leaders were Nicole Bianchi, with two hits and two runs scored; Sam Shipley with a hit and a run scored; Anastasia Rodriguez with a single, RBI and run scored; Lexis Prim with a hit and RBI; Schuurman with a single, double and run scored and Kristin Beckman with two hits and an RBI.

Riverbank had just four hits on the day but Escalon committed six errors.

"Mentally, they need to relax a little more," Teixeira said, looking for some clean play in the field.

At Ripon on Friday, though, the same early troubles plagued the team.

"They scored two in the first inning, then one in the third and two in the fifth and one in the sixth," Teixeira said. "We got two in the fourth, two in the fifth."

Driving in runs were Prim and Beckman, with Bianchi going 2-for-4 with a run scored, Rodriguez with two runs scored. Also notching hits were Erica Victorino, and twins Adalia and Illiana Cajias.

The girls were scheduled to make up a previously rained out game at Linden on Monday, then are back in league play at Orestimba on Wednesday and hosting powerhouse Hughson on Friday, March 30.

Escalon's JV team, with Malinda Walker returning as coach, played just one game for the week.

Riverbank does not have a JV team, so the young Lady Cougars faced off only with Ripon and ended in a 3-3 tie with their two-hour time limit.