Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Madera’s Tea Layne swings at a pitch during a 4-3 victory Wednesday over the Bullard Knights. She drove in the go-ahead run with a double in the sixth inning.
Still stinging from a 12-inning 6-5 loss to the Sanger Apaches the day before, the Madera Coyotes battled back from two deficits to defeat the Bullard-Fresno Knights at Zimmerman Field.
The Knights scored runs in the first and third innings, but the Coyotes answered with runs in each inning before pushing over two runs in the sixth inning for the 4-3 victory Wednesday.
“This was a complete team win today,” head coach Judy Shaubach said. “I thought we did really well on defense and we found some kids who wanted to compete. Kaylee (Dawson) did a great job getting out of trouble. She showed a lot after pitching 12 innings against Sanger.”
Dawson tossed a complete game to pick up the victory. She threw 101 pitches a day after throwing 12 innings. She didn’t strike out a batter, but stranded 12 Knights on the bases and got some key defense plays when she needed to.
“We did well defensively taking advantage of Bullard’s aggressive baserunning,” Shaubach said.
At the end of the game, Shaubach had five of the team’s six freshmen on the field, including three starters — catcher Valerie Ornelas, third baseman Sofia Perez and shortstop Gennahlyn Sanchez.
“Sometimes you have to shake the lineup and the kids did a really good job off the bench,” Shaubach said. “I expect my players to play their part in every inning of every game.”
Ornelas led the 11-hit attack with three hits with two RBI, including a double. Tea Layne, Hollee Brown and Taylor Brooks each had two hits.
Bullard got on the scoreboard in the first inning. Centerfielder Brooks and leftfielder Aaliyah Cuevas collided on a fly ball and Bullard’s Emmerson Lee ended up with a triple. Lee scored two batters later on a single.
However, the Coyotes came right back. Brooks led off the inning with a single down the left field line. Layne sacrificed her to second. Two batters later, Ornelas singled to left to drive in Brooks to tie the score.
The Knights regained the lead in the third with a single and a two-out base hit.
The Coyotes came right back in the bottom half of the inning. Layne hit a one-out single to right. She went to second on a bunt by Joslynn Davis. Ornales tripled down the right field line to drive in Layne with the tying run.
Both teams were able to put runners on base and put the pressure on the pitchers and defense. Bullard pitcher Melina Anguiano recorded the only 1-2-3 inning in the second. Madera left 10 runners on base, but batted 5-for-12 (.417) with runners in scoring position.
Meanwhile, Bullard racked up 15 hits against Dawson, but hit just 3-for-15 (.200) with runners in scoring position.
Bullard put up a threat in the sixth, getting runners at first and third with nobody out in the sixth, but Dawson got a line drive double play to Sanchez and a popout to end the threat.
Madera put together a two-out rally to take the lead. Brooks started the rally with a bunt single. She stole second and third and scored the go-ahead run on Layne’s double over the shortstop’s head.
Lane went to third on a wild pitch and David drew a walk to put runners at first and third. Ornelas hit a chopper up the middle that went through the shortstop’s legs for an error to drive in Layne for an insurance run.
Dawson had trouble to open the seventh inning. She hit the first batter and allowed a double to left-center on the next pitch. The next batter hit a grounder to Sanchez at short and she tried to get the runner heading to third, but was late to load the bases.
The next batter hit a sinking liner into the glove of Davis for the first out of the inning. Dawson got the next batter to hit a grounder to Sanchez. She threw to second for the force while a run scored to cut the lead to one.
With two outs, Dawson got a popout to third baseman Perez to end the game with the win.