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Varsity Softball Girls Pick Up Pair Of Wins
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Three games were on the schedule in a hectic week for the varsity Lady Cougars, winning two out of three.

"We were at Hughson on Monday, that was a 3-1 win," coach Dianne Teixeira said of the May 2 contest. "Wednesday, we were home against Ripon Christian and that was a 5-1 win, then we lost 3-0 at Ripon on Friday."

Monday, the girls went eight innings to come up with the win, scoring one run in the fifth and pushing two more across in the eighth. Hughson countered with a single run in the first, taking the early lead.

Escalon tied it up in the fifth, Carmen Dollarhide getting on with a single with one out. She stole a base and came in to score on a single by Amanda Ainsworth. Hughson scored their run on a couple of singles and a passed ball in the first inning but the Lady Cougars came back to tie.

In the eighth inning, the visiting Escalon squad took the lead. Sara Welch singled, Mandy San Julian followed with a fielders choice. Shannon Krein followed with a triple that drove in San Julian and Erica Bogar then singled to score Krein with the insurance run.

"We had 12 hits," Teixeira pointed out. "Jennifer Costa did our pitching, she went eight innings and gave up just one run, she allowed four hits and struck out five."

Costa did not issue a walk. Each team had just one error.

Offensively, Krein was 2-for-4 with a triple, a run scored and an RBI; Kelly Colin went 1-for-3 with a double and Ainsworth was 3-for-4 with an RBI. Bogar was 2-for-4 with an RBI, while Welch went 2-for-3 in her role as designated hitter in the game. Adding the other hits were Courtney Sperry and Dollarhide.

"It was an awesome win for us," said Teixeira. "Hughson had only had one loss before that so the revenge was nice, they had gotten us here at our place."

This time, Escalon returned the favor.

Still riding the emotion from that win, the Lady Cougars hosted Ripon Christian on Wednesday and came away with a 5-1 victory.

"We scored a run in the first, one in the third, fourth, fifth and sixth," Teixeira said of the game. "Ripon Christian scored just one run, in the fourth inning."

Ainsworth got the scoring started, with a first inning single. She stole second and scored on a single by San Julian. In the third inning, it was San Julian that got on with a double and came in to score on a single from Bogar.

That made it 2-0 but the Lady Knights came up with a single run to trim the lead to 2-1.

Answering back in their half of the fourth inning, Colin getting on with a single, stealing second and scoring on a single by Megan Velting. Increasing the lead to 4-1 in the fifth inning, Krein reached with a single and Stephanie Jones went in to pinch run. Jones stole second and third, then scored on a sacrifice fly from Sperry.

With two outs in the sixth, Ainsworth walked and stole second, Welch drove her in with an RBI single.

Again, the bats were alive for Escalon and they played solidly in the field, committing just one error. They had 10 hits on the day compared to Ripon Christian's three, as Velting went the distance on the mound. She struck out four and walked none. San Julian went 2-for-4 with a double, a run scored and an RBI; Ainsworth was 2-for-4 with two runs scored.

Friday at Ripon, though, the girls took a tough 3-0 loss that all but eliminated their post-season hopes. They would have to win their remaining three games and Hilmar would have to lose two.

"They scored one in the fourth and two in the sixth, they were a little bit more pumped than we were," admitted Teixeira. "Their pitcher did a good job."

Escalon had no runs on three hits with three errors, Ripon had three runs on four hits and one error.

"We had runners on second and third a couple of times," Teixeira said, adding that they couldn't get them home this time. "Their shortstop and center fielder made some nice catches."

Velting was the hard luck loser, pitching six innings of four-hit ball. She struck out four and walked one. Only hits of the game for Escalon were from Ainsworth, Sperry and Costa.

"We only had 10 girls that day, a couple were out sick," added Teixeira.

Weather permitting, the girls were slated to play against Ripon Christian on Monday, May 9 and close out the regular season with a home game Wednesday against Patterson, then go on the road for the finale at Riverbank on Friday, May 13.