A 2-1 win on Tuesday was followed by a 12-7 loss on Thursday, the Escalon varsity softball girls splitting their contests for the week.
In the win over Linden, they went extra innings, getting the win in the eighth.
Bella Strach pitched a complete game, striking out 12, walking nine and allowing two hits.
“She did a really good job,” said head coach Art Brooks. “The Linden pitcher was really tough, too, it was scoreless until the sixth inning.”
Linden took a 1-0 lead on a couple of hits but Escalon rallied to tie the game in the bottom of the seventh.
“We played small ball, had a few bunts,” Brooks said.
With a couple of bunts and a throwing error on Linden, Escalon was able to tie the score.
In the bottom of the eighth, after not allowing Linden to get on the board in the top of the frame, Strach struck out but went to first on a dropped third strike. Sage Davis sacrificed her to second, Hailie Webster walked and then on a strikeout, with the ball in the dirt, the catcher threw to third to try and catch Strach, who scored on an overthrow, coming in with the winning run.
Malia Babasa was 1-for-3 with a stolen base in the win, Lexy Underwood was 1-for-4, Leticia Gutierrez was 1-for-3.
Thursday, it was another game at home but Lodi proved to be a tough foe and the game featured plenty of offense, with a total of 19 runs scored.
Brooke Davis pitched five-and-a-third innings.
“She did a good job, we had one bad inning where the defense had an inning you don’t want to have,” said Brooks. “They scored six runs on us in the third.”
Strach came on in relief and though Escalon had a late rally, they fell short in the end, falling by the 12-7 final.
Strach was 2-for-2 with an RBI, Sage Davis had a two-run triple, Webster had three walks, a hit and an RBI, Gutierrez was 1-for-3 with an RBI.
“If we can clean up that one bad inning, we’ll be okay,” Brooks said.
Under first year head coach Kristin Beckman, the young Lady Cougars rolled to a 20-4 win over Linden on Tuesday.
“Hollie Harding had her first appearance on the mound and pitched solid throughout the whole game,” Beckman said. “The girls rallied together and executed very well. It was a long but fun game for our first home game of the season.”
Thursday, the girls were back on the home field and put away Lodi, 11-4. The contest was back and forth through the first four innings, the coach noted.
“It wasn’t until the fifth inning that we busted it open and scored six runs,” Beckman explained. “Tulsa Carnes was on the mound recording 13 strikeouts for the day.”
Beckman said the team is young but eager to learn and work hard.
“With a lot of new athletes on the field we have a lot of learning to do but I am extremely proud of the way they have come out and presented themselves in the first few pre-season games.”