Tyler Takeda/The Madera Tribune
Madera South’s Erica Valdez drove in a run and scored a run in the Stallions’ last inning victory over Firebaugh in the Stallion Showdon on Friday.
With just one win this season, the Madera South Stallions were looking for a spark and may have found that with a pair of victories to close out the Stallions Showdown.
The Stallions held off the late-charging Sunnyside-Fresno Wildcats with an 8-6 victory Saturday morning and followed that with a come-from-behind 6-4 victory over Firebaugh.
“I was very proud of the girls,” head coach Peter Gallegos said. “For all of the trials we’ve been going through, it felt good to get a couple of wins.”
The Stallions hosted Buhach Colony-Atwater on Tuesday and prepare for the Kerman Easter Classic on Saturday and Monday.
Madera South 8, Sunnyside 6
Despite getting just three hits, the Madera South Stallions took advantage of 13 walks for an 8-6 victory in the first game Saturday.
A.J. Martinez picked up the win with three shutout innings.
Erica Valdez, Taylor Valerio and Kaylee Nevarez were the only Stallions with hits. Valerio and Valdez each drove in two runs.
The Stallions opened the game with a run in the first, added six more in the second and another in the third.
Savaanah Garcia led off the bottom of the first with a single. She stole second and went to third on a passed ball. Valdez hit a fly ball to left that easily scored Garcia.
In the second, Nevarez led off with a single. Viviana Porras was hit by a pitch and Martinez drew a walk to load the bases.
Nevarez scored on a wild pitch and Porras also scored on a wild pitch, but pinch-runner Kristina Valenzuela was picked off of first base.
Destiny Perez and Christina Maahs drew walks and Garcia drew Madera South’s fourth straight walk to load the bases. Valdez singled to left to drive in Perez.
Jessie Maciel drew another walk to force in Maahs. Valerio singled to left-center to drive in Garcia and Valdez. Nevarez drew Madera South’s sixth walk of the inning to load the bases.
However, the next two batters were retired for a 7-0 lead.
Jocelyn Ochoa opened the third with a walk. A double play erased Ochoa. Garcia started another rally with a walk. She stole second, went to third on a wild pitch and scored when Valdez reached on an error for an 8-0 lead.
The Stallions put runners on base in the next three innings, but couldn’t add to their lead. They left 11 runners on base in the game.
Sunnyside scored two runs in the fifth on a hit, a walk and back-to-back groundouts against reliever Miranda Moles.
The Wildcats put pressure Madera south in the sixth. They scored four runs on three hits and were helped by two errors for four unearned runs. The Wildcats had runners at second and third when Stallions centerfielder Aleecia Rosel made a diving catch to end the inning and save the game.
Madera South 6, Firebaugh 3
The Stallions were kept off balance by Firebaugh pitcher Anahi Felix for the first four innings.
Felix retired the first nine in order and 12 of the first 13 batters before the Stallions broke through in the fourth and fifth innings.
“Firebaugh had us against the ropes,” Gallegos said. “Their coach always produces a good team. When you’re down, the character really shows. This is the kind of team we should be. They can hang in there. We were confused at the beginning and then figured it out. It came from them understanding and bringing themselves out.”
Martinez struck out 10 in a complete game victory. She allowed four runs, one earned, on five hits with just one walk. She helped her cause with two hits and two RBIs. Garcia added two hits for the Stallions.
While Felix was retiring the Stallions in order, the Eagles’ offense gave Felix a three-run lead.
With one out in the third, and error and bunt single put runners at second and third after a stolen base. The next batter hit a fly ball to right that was dropped to drive in two runs. A groundout scored another and the Eagles led 3-0.
Garcia broke Felix’s streak with a single in the fourth and sparked the Stallions. In the fifth, with one out, Viviana Porras hit a one out single. Martinez singled and Porras came all the way around to score on an error to get the Stallions on the scoreboard.
Firebaugh answered with a run in the sixth on a double and two singles to take a 4-1 lead.
The Stallions rallied in the sixth, putting eight straight batters on base. Garcia started the rally with a single. Valdez singled and Maciel loaded the bases with another single.
Valerio singled home Garcia and Valdez to cut the lead to one. After Nevarez walked to load the bases, Porras drew another walk to drive in Maciel to tie the game. Martinez singled home Valerio and Nevarez with the go-ahead runs. Perez reached on an error to load the bases.
“Our approach is our second and third looks should be better,” Gallegos said. “It’s time to put the bat on the ball. The pitcher put the ball where she needed. Once we got the timing down, it was a matter of time for the girls to be patient at the plate.”
After a strikeout to the next batter, the game was called due to time restrictions and the Stallions celebrated a 6-4 victory.