Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Madera South’s Aleecia Rosel hits a run-scoring single during the Stallions’ 9-4 loss to Coalinga in the Kerman Easter Classic third place game Tuesday.
In a game that featured 13 errors, the Coalinga Horned Toads capitalized on a five-run first inning to upend the Madera South Stallions softball team 9-4 in the third place game of the Kerman Easter Classic.
“We had a couple errors that kind of cost us,” Madera South head coach Peter Gallegos said. “The girls hung in there though and kept fighting. We’re still a young team and at times, it shows.”
Although Erica Valdez contributed a hit and two runs for the Stallions, the Horned Toads rode a first-inning flurry to win the third place trophy.
The Horned Toads began the game collecting multiple hits, which led to five runs before the Stallions were able to take their first at bat. AJ Martinez allowed 11 hits and two earned runs over six innings but was off the hook for the others after her defense committed four errors.
“She was a little shaky at times,” Gallegos said on Martinez’ performance. “She stayed with it and was able to execute through the game. She’s a great young lady.”
The Stallions came back and scored two in the first inning behind Horned Toad misfortunes in the field.
With a runner on first in the bottom of the second inning, Maria Leal laid down a perfect bunt to the pitcher and was able to beat out the wild throw to first. The ball sailed past first base, allowing a Stallion to score. The Stallions capitalized on another error to inch closer and trailed 6-3 heading to the top of the third.
After giving up two singles to begin the inning, Martinez came back and struck out the opponent batter looking. Martinez then got consecutive batters to ground out.
After a single and a hit batter in the bottom of the third, the Stallions had runners on first and second with none out. The Stallions then got a walk, which loaded the bases.
Aleecia Rosel stepped up to bat and hit an infield single. Her swing sent the ball 10 feet from home plate but the opposing team was unable to field the ball cleanly for an RBI and the Stallions trimmed the lead to 6-4.
In the top of the fourth inning, the Horned Toads had runners on second and third after consecutive base hits, but were unable to capitalize after Martinez pitched her way out of danger to preserve the lead.
In the bottom of the fourth the Stallions looked to cut into Coalinga’s lead. Taylor Valerio led the charge opening the inning with a base hit down the line. After Valdez chopped a ball towards shortstop for the base hit, the Stallions had runners on second and third.
The Stallions were unable to score in the inning after consecutive ground outs.
After beginning the fifth inning with consecutive outs, the Stallions almost capitalized on an error after Leal stole second. She almost made it all the way home after the ball rolled into center field. Leal was tagged out feet from home plate after she stumbled and fell right before the ball reached the opposing catcher.
In the top of the sixth inning, Coalinga capitalized on poor pitching and defense by the Stallions to score three runs to increase its lead to five runs. They went into the bottom of the frame ahead 9-4.
In the top of the seventh, the Stallions got back on track after solid defense and great defense. Rosel raced into foul territory to make an inning-ending catch even with the wall in her way.
Trailing 9-4, the Stallions headed to the top of the seventh hoping to mount a comeback.
The Stallions were unable to make a comeback after the team recorded three straight outs for a 9-4 Coalinga victory.