By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Wins Keep Lady Cougars In Playoff Hunt
Placeholder Image
Two games at opposite ends of the spectrum were on the docket for Escalon's varsity Lady Cougars softball team this week. They won easily on the road at Ripon Christian, then battled to defeat Ripon at home in extra innings.

Tuesday at RC, it was a 12-0 win for the girls, with Nicky Brown tossing a one-hitter and backed up by a nine-hit effort from her teammates.

Ripon Christian committed four errors, aiding the Cougars in their quest for the win.

The big blow in a four-run first inning was a two-RBI triple from Erica Bogar.

Keeping the pressure on early, the visiting Lady Cougars put six more runs on the board in the second.

"Amanda Ainsworth walked, Melissa Nickas walked, Shannon Krein had a single," noted coach Dianne Teixeira.

Mandy San Julian added an RBI single in the frame and knocking in two runs apiece with hits that inning were Bogar and Michelle Williams.

Single runs came in for Escalon in both the fourth and fifth innings, the game called after five due to the 10-run rule. Amber Wood scored the team's run in the fourth, coming in on an error after getting on with a single, and she drove in the run in the fifth, driving home Krein with a single.

"Once we got to 10 runs, we tried not to make it too much worse," Teixeira noted. "We had to be patient with their pitcher, too, not swing at junk."

Brown struck out five while allowing just one hit and walking none in her five innings of work to earn the win.

Thursday, the girls took the home field against Ripon and fought to a 2-1 win in eight innings.

"They brought it to us," admitted Teixeira, noting that her girls had easily defeated the Indians earlier in the season.

Escalon took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second, Bogar coming across the plate on an RBI double by Williams. Ripon tied it in the fourth and the teams ended the seven innings of regulation in the 1-1 tie.

After retiring Ripon in the eighth, the Lady Cougars wanted to get the win.

"San Julian singled, Nickas singled, (Missy) Cullum singled," said Teixeira.

That brought Krein to the plate and she worked the count to 3-2.

"I told her 'don't swing'," said Teixeira and the result was Krein drawing the walk, getting credit for the game-winning RBI, forced home from third.

"They used two pitchers, for our top of the order they brought in the slower pitcher and our girls had to be patient," Teixeira explained. "They also made good defensive plays."

Escalon improved to 9-2 in league play with the win, 19-5 overall. Brown went the distance on the mound, striking out 11 and allowing nine hits. Ripon had two errors. Escalon had seven hits and three errors.

"I'm glad we had a close game," Teixeira pointed out, noting that it will help the girls as they stay in the battle for the playoffs.

"The top two teams move on," she said of going to the post season. "We go one game at a time but we're pumped, we know we have to win to make it to playoffs."

The girls were slated to play at Patterson on Tuesday, May 11 after The Times went to press and will wrap up the season with matches at home, Thursday, May 13 against Riverbank and Tuesday, May 18 against Hughson.