Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
The Madera Coyote softball team celebrates as Aaliyah Cuevas, left in helmet, reaches home plate after hitting a two-run home run in a 10-0 victory over Madera South.
Although there was still a softball game to be played, players and coaches from the Madera and Madera South softball teams helped contribute and give back to the community.
Before their game, Madera and Madera South players presented Madera County Food Bank and director Ryan McWherter with a check for $400. McWherter also threw out the first pitch.
“I thought the presentation we wanted to present to teach the girls that we are about the community of Madera and building up the city,” Madera South head coach Peter Gallegos said. “That’s No. 1 right there.”
As for the game, the Coyotes, defending two-time Div. II Valley Champions, rebounded from a lackluster performance against Edison the previous Friday to end Tuesday’s game a little early with a 10-0 victory in five innings.
“We’ve been working on our defense and getting the first out of the inning,” Madera head coach Judy Shaubach said. “Our goal was to play a complete inning and continue to play the ball to our strength, which is putting the ball in play, and using our speed, which we did today.”
Madera heads into the second half of the County/Metro Athletic Conference with a 3-2 record, tied for second. The Coyotes played Sanger on Friday for a chance to move into sole possession of second and then play at first place Bullard-Fresno on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, the Stallions sit in fifth place in the CMAC and played at Bullard on Friday before heading to Fresno to face Edison.
The Coyotes took advantage of Madera South errors to score at least a run in all five innings. Just two of Madera’s 10 runs were earned. Madera banged out 11 hits in the win, including a solo home run from Aaliyah Cuevas.
“I thought we were a little impatient early,” Shaubach said. “We were swinging at balls outside the strike zone. We calmed down as the game went along. We hit the ball extremely well. We got some good hits today. We made some good adjustments within the at bat.”
Coyote pitcher Kaylee Dawson picked up the win in the circle. She has allowed just three hits in each of the last two games and only allowed the Stallions to get more than one baserunner in one inning.
Madera South starter Erica Valdez suffered the loss in the circle. She allowed seven runs, but just two of those runs were earned. She allowed six hits and struck out a batter.
With one out in the bottom of the first, Tea Layne reached on an error. After a popout, Layne stole second and scored when Valerie Ornelas reached on an error.
Ornelas went to second on a passed ball, Hollee Brown drew a walk and Mikayla Ruiz singled to left. Ornelas came in to score on another error for a 2-0 lead.
In the second, Kaylee Dawson led off the inning with a single up the middle. Felicity Rocha sacrificed pinch-runner Kailie Gutierrez to second. Taylor Brooks grounded out to move Gutierrez to third. Layne drew a walk and stole second. Cuevas hit a hard groundball that was misplayed for an error and both Gutierrez and Layne scored unearned runs for a 4-0 lead.
Madera started a two-out, nobody on rally in the top of the third. With two outs, Haley Perez reached on an error. Dawson singled to right and both runners moved up a base on a wild pitch. Rocha singled up the middle to drive in Perez for a 5-0 lead.
The Coyotes added two more runs in the fourth. Layne reached on a bunt single. Cuevas then hit the second pitch she saw over the outstretched glove of Madera South centerfielder Aleecia Rosel for her eighth career home run to move into second place by herself on Madera’s all-time home run list.
Dawson led off the fifth by reaching on an error and took second when the ball went to the wall.
Rocha fell behind 0-2, but worked the count even. She hit the eighth pitch of the at-bat to the right-centerfield fence for a double, scoring Gutierrez.
“I thought Felicity did a great job adjusting in her at bat,” Shaubach said. “Hollee Brown also did a great job in one at-bat. Tea played really well defensively.”
Brooks followed with a single up the middle and took second on a throw to put runners at second and third.
After Madera South pitcher A.J. Martinez got a groundout and a popout, Ornelas singled up the middle to drive in Rocha and Brooks for the 10-0 lead.
Madera South got two two-out hits in the first three innings, including a double from Savaanah Garcia, but both couldn’t advance.
Jessie Maciel singled to open the fourth, but the Coyotes turned a rare 6-4-3 (Gennahlyn Sanchez-Layne-Rocha) double play to thwart the threat.
Madera South put the pressure on in the fifth. With one out, Martinez reached on an error. Pinch runner Lupita Nambo advanced to second on a groundout. Rosel followed by reaching on another error to put runners at first and third.
Garcia was hit by a pitch to load the bases. However, Dawson got the next batter to pop out to Layne near first base to end the game with a Coyote victory.