Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Madera South’s Makenna Nevarez had hits in both games Saturday against Dinuba and Exeter in the Buchanan Preseason Tournament. She had an RBI double in Madera South’s 5-4 loss to Dinuba.
CLOVIS — After starting off the Buchanan Preseason Tournament with two wins, the Dinuba Emperors capitalized on a two-run fifth inning to beat the Madera Stallions softball team, 3-1, in the semifinals of the small schools championship.
“I thought our team played really well,” Madera Stallion’s head coach Peter Gallegos said. “We had the opportunity to play against a really good Dinuba team and I think it helped us. The girls gave it their all.”
Jessie Maciel led the team with two hits Saturday and Maria Leal scored the only run of the game, which ended after five innings because of time limit.
A.J. Martinez suffered the loss in the circle and struck out five batters.
Alyssa Tirado opened the game with a sharply hit ball to the Emperor shortstop, but reached on an error after the throw to first was off target. Maciel followed up with a single into right field, which gave the Stallions runners on first and second.
The Stallions strung three hits together in the top of the first but were unable to capitalize.
Dinuba scored in the bottom of the first after a softly hit ball landed in center field. The runner on second scored standing up and Dinuba led 1-0 early.
The Stallions got out of trouble in the bottom of the second inning after the Emperors stranded two runners leaving, the Stallions fans relieved.
In the top of the third, the Stallions started off hot after Maciel collected her second hit of the game with a sharply hit ball into center field. The inning fizzled out after the Stallions suffered consecutive outs.
In the top of the fifth, Maria Leal laid down the perfectly executed bunt to give the Stallions a baserunner.
Savaanah Garcia followed up with a driven shot into right field, advancing Leal.
Tirado put the Stallions on the board after she laid down a bunt single. The Emperor infielder fielded the ball but fired over the head of the first baseman, allowing Leal to score.
The Emperor’s turned an inning-ending double play to keep the game tied.
After a close play at the plate, the Emperors took a 2-1 lead. The Emperor’s put another run on the board after a single was slapped into center field for a 3-1 lead.
The game ended after time expired leaving the Stallions unable to come back.
“Dinuba is a very good team,” Gallegos said. “We had some
Exeter 5, Madera South 4
The Stallions came out strong in their final game of the tournament by scoring all four runs in the first two innings and led 4-1 after the second.
“We came out fired up because of the Dinuba game,” Gallegos said. “We scored early on them. It was late in the game where we had a couple of errors that cost us some runs. It wasn’t big errors, but it was like not hitting the cutoff man and allowing an extra base.”
The Stallions committed five errors in the game and allowed the Monarchs to score four runs in the bottom of the fifth inning, the final inning because of the time limit.
Martinez suffered the tough loss in the circle. She struck out three and allowed three earned runs.
“A.J. has been pitching fantastic this season,” Gallegos said. “We just had a couple of errors that cost us a little bit.”
Nevarez had a two-run double and Rosel aldo had a double and an RBI with two hits.
Madera Tribune sports editor Tyler Takeda also contributed to this article.