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Wins Over Oakdale, East Union In Busy Softball Week
Lady Cougar Brooke Davis piled up the strikeouts in a trio of games this past week in Valley Oak League action. Marg Jackson/The Times

Continuing action in the Valley Oak League for this season, Escalon’s varsity softball girls opened up a busy week on a winning note. They defeated Oakdale 2-1 on Monday, April 19.

“Brooke Davis was amazing in the circle with nine strikeouts and only allowing two hits and one run in the first inning,” said coach Jeff Borden. “We tied the score in our first with a walk to leadoff hitter Malia Babasa and an RBI hit by Briana Vazquez.”

Oakdale has long been a VOL powerhouse, while Escalon has been among the top teams in the Trans-Valley League the past few years. The Lady Cougars hosted the game and it was a tight contest all the way through, with the teams trading runs in the opening frame and no more scoring until the fourth.

“We got the winning run in the fourth with a double by freshman catcher Macie Vickers,” Borden said. “She scored on an error from a ball put in play by Brooke Davis.”

On the home field again for a Wednesday, April 21 contest, it was another victory for Escalon as they defeated East Union.

“We were able to generate more offense for an 8-0 shutout,” the coach noted. “Brooke Davis was again untouchable as our pitcher giving up only one hit in the top of the seventh.”

Davis notched 18 strikeouts on the afternoon.

The offense was paced by Faye Hernandez, with a double, single and three runs batted in. Emily Vickers had two hits and Babasa, Vazquez and Brooke Campbell each had a hit in the win as well.

“Friday we took our first loss,” Borden said, the Lady Cougars shut out by Central Catholic in a 1-0 final.

That moved them to a 9-1 overall record on the year, and tied for second in the ‘hybrid VOL’ they are competing in this spring due to COVID.

“It was a classic pitcher’s duel between Brooke Davis and Randi Roelling, clearly two of the elite pitchers in the section, along with Oakdale’s Delainey Everett, who we handed a loss to on Monday,” explained Borden.

The lone blemish in the contest against Central for Davis was a home run allowed to Jojo Roberts, who Borden said is committed to play D1 college ball at University of San Diego.

For Escalon, freshman Shelby Wilder drew a leadoff walk in the Lady Cougars’ final at bat and senior Ryilee McNulty advanced her to second with a perfect sacrifice bunt.

“Shelby advanced to third on a wild pitch, representing the tying run with one out,” Borden said. “Malia Babasa hit a shot to left field that was caught on a great play by their left fielder … poor third base coaching on my part didn’t get the runner tagged up to score so we didn’t get her in.”

Borden said he apologized to the team following the contest for not having that tying run score, with Central holding on for the victory.

Davis again had 18 strikeouts on the day; Roelling had 14 for Central Catholic.

“Brooke left runners on base in four innings, allowing us to be in striking distance the whole game,” the coach added. “We will look forward to playing them again in our last game of the year.”

The JV team did not have any games this past week but both squads will be at Ripon for contests against the Lady Indians on Wednesday, April 28 and the JV only will play at home, hosting Ripon Christian on Friday, April 30.