A huge, extra inning victory on the road and a satisfying home win on Senior Night made for a successful week for Escalon’s Lady Cougars varsity softball team.
Escalon started the week with a Wednesday, May 12 contest at Oakdale and, for the second time this season, thrilled their fans with a victory over the longtime Valley Oak League powerhouse. They had to play three extra innings to seal the win.
“We won 4-3 in 10 innings. Brooke Davis and Delainey Everett were locked in a classic pitcher’s duel,” Escalon head coach Jeff Borden said of the two young outstanding pitchers. “We were down 1-0 in the top of the seventh when Brooke Davis led off with a single and Briana Vazquez extended the game with an RBI single.”
There was no scoring in the eighth or ninth innings, so by rule, beginning with the tenth inning, a runner starts at second base under the international tie breaker rule.
“Soleil Gouzenne laid down a perfect bunt, great base running by Ryilee McNulty gave us runners first and second, no outs,” Borden explained. “Miss Clutch Briana Vazquez singled, knocking in a run. Faye Hernandez followed with a single plating another run.”
Senior Brooke Campbell then made it a 4-1 Lady Cougar lead with an RBI single.
“Oakdale scored two in the bottom of the tenth and had the winning runs on second and third when Brooke Davis struck out two batters to complete our epic victory,” Borden said.
Catching their breath and heading home, the varsity girls gathered for a game against Manteca on Friday, May 14 and honored the senior girls prior to first pitch.
“We tip our hat to the five seniors that have meant so much to our softball program including two Section titles,” Borden said. “I have no doubt Malia Babasa, Brooke Campbell, Mya Scott, Ryilee McNulty and Lupe Tapia will be difference makers in this world.”
On the field, it was Davis again handling the pitching duties and, with offensive support from her teammates, crafted a 3-0 victory.
“She was brilliant, throwing her seventh shutout of the year while allowing only four hits and notching 16 strikeouts,” Borden said.
The win moved Escalon to a 14-1 mark for the season, looking to at least share of piece of the VOL crown their first – and likely only – year in the league, due to COVID protocols in place when the season started.
Macie Vickers paced the offense for Escalon with three hits, including a blast that just missed going out, hitting the fence in left field for a double. Babasa was 2-for-3 and scored two runs. Vazquez accounted for the third Escalon run in the game with a single, a steal of second and scoring on a Madison Hagglund RBI single.
The girls were scheduled to travel to Kimball for a May 18 game and will be on the road at Manteca for a game on Friday, May 21. The final game of the league season is scheduled on the road, at Central Catholic on Wednesday, May 26.