Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Madera’s Sofia Perez reacts after scoring on Neveah Montes’ single to give the Coyotes the early lead in a 5-3 loss Thursday to Clovis North.
For the first five innings, the Madera Coyotes softball team looked like a team to beat in the vaunted Tri-River Athletic Conference.
However, the Clovis North Broncos finally solved freshman pitcher Alexis Galvan and tagged her for four runs in the sixth inning for a 5-3 non-conference victory Thursday at Zimmerman Field.
“We played good Coyote softball for a good six innings,” Head coach Judy Shaubach said. “We let one inning get away from us and that’s our youthfulness rearing its head. I was proud of the fight. We put some runners on and kept going. That’s the game of softball.”
For the first five innings, Galvan was dealing. She retired the first eight batters of the game and took a three run lead into the sixth inning. Overall, she allowed four runs over 5 1/3 innings.
However, the Coyotes manufactured three runs in the sixth inning for the first runs of the game. Mariah McMillon and Sofia Perez led the Coyotes with two hits each.
“It’s the little things,” Shaubach said. “You can’t make baserunning mistakes. You can’t not move runners. Had we moved runners over, we would have scored another run. Our sacrifice bunting and ability to move runners to second base failed us a couple of times. We’re going to address that. You take one inning away and we played a doggone good ball game.
“We made some stellar defensive plays. Joslynn (Davis) throwing that runner out at the plate was great. We had some amazing double play balls. We threw the ball well in the infield.”
Madera put runners on base in two of the first four innings before breaking through in the fifth.
The Coyotes’ defense threw out five runners on the bases, including a double play and a runner thrown out at the plate.
With two outs and a runner at second in the third, Clovis North singled up the middle. Davis came up throwing and threw out the runner trying to score so early that the runner didn’t even slide to get tagged out.
In the fourth, after a lead-off walk, second baseman Erika Perez caught a liner and threw out the runner at first for the double play.
The Coyotes then recorded forceouts in the fifth, sixth and a double play in the seventh.
Madera finally broke through in the fifth. With one out, Sofia Perez doubled off the centerfield fence. McMillon reached on an infield single while Perez advanced to third and McMillon advanced to second on the throw.
Neveah Montes reached on an error while Perez scored. Clovis North tried to get McMillon at third, but threw wild. McMillon scored while Montes advanced to third.
Erika Perez followed with a sacrifice fly to score Montes for a 3-0 lead.
After Galvan got the first out of the sixth inning, Clovis North singled twice and hit a three-run home run to tie the score.
The Broncos doubled to chase Galvan. Felicity Rocha got a lineout for the second out, but allowed a run scoring double, a run scoring wild pitch and a walk.
Kaylee Patlan was brought in for the Coyotes. After allowing a single and a walk to load the bases, Patlan got a grounder to short for the forceout and end the inning.
Madera didn’t fold its tent and put pressure on Clovis North pitcher Alyssa Orr. With one out in the sixth, Davis reached on an error, but she was forced at second. However, Perez singled up the middle to put runners at first and second, but a groundout ended the inning.
In the seventh, Erika Perez reached with a one-out single, but two flyouts ended the game.