Benny Munoz/The Madera Tribune
Madera South’s Esmeralda Moreno hangs onto third base on a stolen base in the third inning of Tuesday’s 11-0 victory over San Joaquin Memorial.
The Madera South Stallions softball team headed into Friday’s showdown with rival Madera fresh off an 11-0 victory over the San Joaquin Memorial-Fresno Panthers on Senior Night.
Meanwhile, the North Sequoia League-leading Liberty Hawks baseball team suffered a hiccup trying for the school’s first baseball league title since 2009.
The Stallions picked up a rout Tuesday after getting an over-the-fence home run from Mealeah Galvan and an inside-the-park homer from Kaylee Nevarez. Stallions pitchers Erica Valdez and Taylor Valerio combined on a no-hitter.
The Hawks allowed seven runs in the first two innings and only managed two hits against Kerman ace Thomas Camargo in a 10-0 loss Monday. The loss dropped the Hawks into a first place tie with Kerman with a 10-4 record. The two teams played Thursday afternoon for the outright NSL championship.
Madera South 11, Memorial 0
The Stallions got off to a slow start against the winless Panthers. However, they scored six runs in the second, three in the third and picked up the mercy-rule victory with two more runs in the fourth inning.
Nevarez, Galvan, Valdez and Maria Leal each drove in two runs. Jessie Maciel, Galvan, Esmeralda Moreno and Leal each had two hits.
In the second inning, Galvan hit a two-run home run, driving in Makenna Nevarez, who led off the inning with a walk.
Moreno and Leal singled and Lupita Nambo drove in a run with another single. Jessie Maciel loaded the bases with a single and Valdez drove in two runs with another base hit.
The Stallions added three more runs in the second after Leal drove in two runs with a triple. She scored on a Daniela Espinoza squeeze bunt.
Kaylee Nevarez closed the scoring in the fourth with a two-run inside-the-park home run for the 11-0 victory.
Both Valdez and Valerio allowed just one baserunner in a combined no-hitter. Valdez’s baserunner reached on an error and Valerio walked one in the seventh.
Kerman 10, Liberty 0
Unlike previous games where the Liberty Hawks grind out at-bats and work to score runs to go with good pitching and impeccable defense, that all failed in Monday’s match-up with the Lions.
With an outright NSL championship on the line, the Hawks celebrated senior night by banging out just two hits and allowing eight runs in the first three innings.
Just three of Kerman’s 10 runs were earned, thanks to four Liberty errors.
Liberty starter Emilio Cabrera allowed seven runs in 1 2/3 innings, but just three of the runs were earned. Garrett McFarland came in relief and tossed 5 1/3 innings. He allowed three runs, all unearned.
Jacob Brauer and Bradley Moon were the only Hawks to get hits against Lions starter Camargo, who struck out seven and didn’t walk a batter.
Kerman had four hits in the first inning to score three runs. However, the rest of Kerman’s runs were unearned.
The Hawks had just two runners in scoring position. Brauer led off the fourth with a single and went to second when Moon reached on an error. However, two strikeouts and a groundout silenced the threat.
Designated hitter Markie Brandt was hit by a pitch in the fifth. He stole second and went to third on a wild pitch. He was left stranded by a strikeout.
The Lions closed the game by retiring the finals eight batters in order.