Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Madera Coyotes softball coach Judy Shaubach holds a 600 win plaque she received from Madera High School principal Alan Hollman, to her right, after Madera’s 11-1 victory over Fresno on Wednesday.
The Madera Coyotes softball team overcame a slow start and didn’t let up for an 11-1 victory over the Fresno Warriors in a game to celebrate head coach Judy Shaubach’s 600th career victory.
The Coyotes didn’t score in the first, but scored nine runs in the final three innings to end the game in the fifth inning with a mercy rule Wednesday at Zimmerman Field before Shaubach was surprised with a celebration after the game for her 600th career victory. Shaubach’s Coyotes defeated Clovis West on Feb. 28 for win No. 600. Wednesday’s was win No. 604 for Shaubach.
“To the team’s defense, they had some distractions today,” Shaubach said. “They were running around getting ready for the big celebration. They have to remember they have to take care of business on the field. That starts with the first pitch and ends with the last pitch. I thought we started off slow. We had to get refocused. We had some pretty good defensive plays.”
Pitcher Felicity Rocha allowed just one hit over the five innings and struck out three batters. She helped herself at the plate with a pair of run-scoring doubles.
“Felicity pitched a pretty solid game,” Shaubach said. “She did a real nice job of keeping her down on the ball and driving the ball. She had a good, complete game today.”
The top three in the Coyote line-up did plenty of damage against the Warriors. Taylor Books, Mikayla Ruiz and Aaliyah Cuevas went a combined 7-for-10 with five runs scored and two RBI’s. Cuevas, currently hitting .750, scored two runs and hit a run scoring double.
Tea Layne also had to hits and scored three runs. Hollee Brown drove in two with two hits.
“I thought we ran the bases pretty well and took advantage of their miscues,” Shaubach said.
After a scoreless first inning, the Coyotes got on the scoreboard in the second inning. Haley Perez led off the inning with a single to center. Layne put down a bunt and beat the throw to first, but the throw went into right field and pinch-runner Ari Ochoa went all the way around the bases to score the first run while Layne went to third.
Two batters later, Brown singled to left field and Layne came in to score for a 2-0 lead.
Ruiz led off the third inning with an infield single and took second when Fresno didn’t cover the bag. Cuevas singled to right center and drove in Ruiz. Cuevas then stole second and advanced to third on a throwing error. She scored on a groundout by Ornelas.
Fresno scored its only run in the third on a three-base error on a fly ball to center and a wild pitch.
The Coyotes put together a two-out rally to drive in two more runs. Layne started the rally by reaching on an error. She scored on the first of Rocha’s doubles to right-center. Brown singled to left to score pinch-runner Brooke Gill for a 6-1 lead.
Madera kept the runs scoring in the fourth. Brooks led off with a single up the middle and went to send on Ruiz’s single.
Brooks scored on Cuevas’ double off the centerfield wall while Ruiz advanced to third.
Ornelas grounded out to first, but Cuevas got caught heading to third while Ruiz was still on the bag. Fresno tried to get Cuevas back at second, but Cuevas turned to go to third while Ruiz scored on the confusion.
Two batters later, Layne reached on an infield single to drive in Cuevas and Rocha drove in Layne with another double, identical to her other one.
In the fifth, Gennahlyn Sanchez reached on an error and took second when no one was covering the bag. She went to third on Brooks’ infield single and then scored on a 2-2 pitch in the dirt to Ruiz to invoke the 10-run mercy rule with an 11-1 victory.
Madera next hosts Clovis North on Tuesday at 3:30 p.m.