Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Madera South’s Savaanah Garcia places the tag on a Coalinga runner during Friday’s victory over the Horned Toads while second baseman Taylor Valerio provides back up.
With just seven games under its belt because of the recent wet weather, the Madera South Stallions softball team finally got to play and went 3-1 in its own Madera South Showdown Tournament over the weekend.
The Stallions entered the tournament with a subpar 1-5-1 record and went out with confidence heading to the rest of its season.
“It feels good to get games in,” head coach Peter Gallegos said. “Getting out on the field and getting that team chemistry going was important. The girls are starting to come around and believe in what we’re doing.”
The Stallions opened the tournament with a walk-off victory over Firebaugh and a six-run comeback victory over Coalinga on Friday. On Saturday, the Stallions lost to tournament finalist Washington Union-Easton, 9-4, before closing the tournament with a 5-3 victory over Lemoore.
The Stallions played at Buhach Colony-Atwater on Tuesday and at Kerman on Wednesday before County/Metro Athletic Conference play next week.
Madera South 4, Firebaugh 3
The Stallions took the early lead, but the Eagles scored a run in the final three innings to take the lead before winning pitcher Taylor Valerio walked it off in the bottom of the fifth inning for a 4-3 win due to time limit.
Valerio allowed just one earned run while allowing just four hits and three runs in five innings.
Madera South’s top four batters — Savaanah Garcia, Elena Garcia, Viviana Porras and Taylor Valerio — each had two hits and drove in all four runs.
Savaanah Garcia started off the game with a run in the bottom of the first inning. She drew a walk. Elena Garcia singled to right while Savaanah Garcia advanced to third. Porras then put down a safety squeeze and Savaanah Garcia scored on the throw to first.
Madera South had runners thrown out on the bases in each of the first four innings or the score could have been higher. Elena Garcia was thrown out trying to steal third in the first.
A fielder’s choice led to the first out in the second, while another runner was tagged out going from first to third. Firebaugh turned a double play in the third to keep the Stallions from scoring.
A passed ball on a third strike led to an Eagles’ run in the third. After the passed ball, the next batter tripled in the game-tying run. However, Valerio kept the Eagles off the scoreboard despite hitting a batter and walking another to load the bases.
An error, followed by a sacrifice, another error and a fielder’s choice gave the Eagles the go-ahead run in the fourth. In the fifth, Firebaugh got a one-out triple and a groundout for a 3-1 lead.
The Stallions battled back in the fifth inning with the first six batters reaching base.
Emma Howe started the comeback with a leadoff walk. Aleecia Rosel reached on a bunt single to put runners at first and second. Savaanah Garcia singled up the middle to load the bases.
Emma Garcia singled to left to drive in pinch-runner Margarita Rascon and Rosel.
Porras reached on a bunt single and the bases were loaded. Valerio stepped up and hit the third pitch into left field for a single to drive in Savaanah Garcia with the go-ahead run.
The umpired huddled and called the game because of time limit.
Madera South 8, Coalinga 6
Things weren’t looking up for the Stallions in a match-up with the Coalinga Horned Toads.
Coalinga scored three runs in the first and two more in the second inning for a 5-0 lead.
The Stallions took advantage of wild Coalinga pitching to cut into the lead in the second. With one out, Mealeah Galvan walked. Erica Valdez singled pinch-runner Hannah Tatro to second. Howe then drew another walk to load the bases.
Alexis Ramirez drew another walk to force in Tatro. Garcia reached on a fielder’s choice, but Valdez scored. Porras singled home Howe to cut the lead to 5-3.
The Horned Toads added another run in the third inning for a 6-3 lead.
Valerio led the comeback in the third inning with a walk. Galvan singled and Valdez walked to load the bases.
After a strikeout, Ramirez singled home Valerio and Savaanah Garcia tripled home pinch-runner Monique Martinez, Valdez and Ramirez. Porras grounded out, but Garcia scored for an 8-6 lead with a five-run third inning.
The Horned Toads scored four runs in the fourth inning to take a 10-8 lead. However, time ran out on the game and the score reverted back to the third inning and the Stallions recorded an 8-6 victory.
“That was a great game,” Gallegos said. “I was proud of the girls no matter what. The Stallions don’t stop fighting. Erica kept pushing on the mound and the team never gave up.”
Washington Union 9, Madera South 4
Although the Stallions outhit the Panthers, it was the Panthers’ big hits that helped them to a win.
The Panthers got a three-run home run in the first inning, a two-run triple in the second and a two-run double in the fourth for a 9-4 victory.
The Stallions banged out 10 hits while the Panthers had eight against Valerio.
Savaanah Garcia, Elena Garcia and Galvan each had two hits in the game. Both Garcias scored a run, along with Rosel and Galvan. Savaanah Garcia added a triple while Elena Garcia had a double.
Madera South 5, Lemoore 2
The Stallions took advantage of shoddy Lemoore defense to score three runs in the first and two more in the third for a 5-2 victory over the Tigers.
Valdez picked up the win, allowing two runs and five hits with five strikeouts in five innings.
Savaanah and Elena Garcia led the Stallions with two hits each. Savaanah Garcia and Valerio each had doubles.
The Stallions got on the scoreboard in the first inning. Garcia led off with a double, but was thrown out at third after Porras reached on a bunt single.
Porras advanced to second on an error. Rosel walked and Porras executed a double steal.
Elena Garcia singled to right to drive in Porras. Valerio reached on an error while Rosel scored and Elena Garcia came all the way around to score from first on the error for a 3-0 lead.
Lemoore cut into the lead in the second after a one-out double and single put the Tigers on the board.
Madera South added to its lead in the third. With one out, Valerio doubled to left-center. She went to third on a Galvan single. Pinch-runner Tatro stole second. Valdez reached on an error while Valerio scored. After a popout, Martinez singled up the middle to drive in Tatro for a 5-1 lead.
Valdez allowed back-to-back singles in the fifth followed by an error and a groundout to cut the lead to three runs.
However, Valdez got out of the inning by inducing a comebacker to end the fifth.
The game was called because of time and the Stallions picked up their third win of the tournament.