Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Madera South’s Elena Garcia swings at a pitch during Friday’s victory over Sanger. Garcia scored Madera South’s tying run in the fifth inning.
There wasn’t one player that decided the 2-1 victory for the Madera South Stallions softball team. It was a complete team effort that saw the Stallions fight back from a seventh inning deficit to claim a County/Metro Athletic Conference softball win at Madera South.
“All the girls did really well tonight and I’m proud of them,” Madera South head coach Peter Gallegos said. “I’m really excited because they are coming together as one team. We had a plan coming in and everybody knew they had a job to do and they grinded through the game.”
Savaanah Garcia dominated at the plate and in the field. She made a key sliding stop to her right, robbing the Apaches of a hit late in the game. At the plate, Garcia faced the Apaches four times and finished with four hits. She had one hit less than the entire Sanger team and also stole three bases.
Viviana Porras collected two hits, including the Stallions’ only RBI in the bottom of the fifth inning. Her single took the momentum from the Apaches.
Monique Martinez chipped in with a hit and a run. Martinez’s heads up running on the bases gave the Stallions a boost in the final inning when she scored the game-winning run on an Apaches’ passed ball.
Erica Valdez pitched a complete game, allowing a run and only five hits. Valdez shut down the second-most potent offense in the CMAC. Just behind Madera, with 107 runs scored, the Apaches had scored 100 runs coming into the matchup.
Valdez worked against her opponent’s weaknesses. She only walked a single batter, adding two strikeouts.
The first four innings came and went with only a scratch from the Apaches. Although Valdez stymied the Apaches throughout the game, a double in the top of the fourth put the Stallions in a hole. Sanger scored the first run of the game, but Madera South stayed calm throughout.
“Everyone stayed relaxed and focused on their job,” Gallegos said. “I just told them they have to execute.”
In the bottom of the fifth, Madera South got a run back through an RBI single from Porras. Elena Garcia opened the inning with a single. Savaanah Garcia followed with another single and Porras drove in Elena Garcia with a third straight single to tie the game.
Madera South then came back in the bottom of the seventh inning.
Martinez singled to open the inning. Savaanah Garcia singled, sending Martinez to third.
With Porras at the plate, the Apaches pitcher sent a pitch in dirt past her catcher, Martinez raced home and slid across home plate for the game-winning run.
With a 2-0 record in the CMAC, the Stallions are in good shape as the season progresses. But after a big win over a strong conference foe, Madera South will try keep that momentum going forward with San Joaquin Memorial on Tuesday and Madera on Friday.
“I think we’ve always had the confidence, but this just affirms who we are. If we just keep believing in ourselves and play the way we know how to play, we can keep playing Stallion softball,” Gallegos said.
Dos Palos 4, Madera South 1
Despite getting just two hits against the Dos Palos Broncos, the Madera South Stallions had a chance for a non-conference victory.
However, the Broncos scored four runs in the top of the seventh for a 4-1 victory over the Stallions.
Dos Palos pitcher Janessa Jasso handcuffed the Stallions all evening with 14 strikeouts.
However, the Stallions did put up a little fight against the Broncos, putting pressure on Jasso.
Taylor Valerio ran into and out of trouble all evening. She stranded eight Dos Palos runners, including six in scoring position.
The Broncos got runners at second and third in the first, but Valerio got a groundout to end the inning.
Shortstop Savaanah Garcia doubled up a Dos Palos runner after snagging a liner for the final outs of the second the inning.
Dos Palos put runners at second and third with one out in the third. Valerio got a strikeout, a pop out to Mealeah Galvan at first and a flyout to Hannah Tatro in right to end the inning.
The Stallions got on the board in the bottom of the sixth inning. Valdez led off the inning by drawing a walk. Garcia put down a bunt to move Valdez to second.
Valdez went to third on a passed ball and then scored when Jasso uncorked a wild pitch to Elena Garcia to give the Stallions a 1-0 lead.
However, the Broncos came back with a two-out rally. Valerio retired the first two batters in order, but allowed a two-out, two-strike single. She walked the next batter and the next batter singled up the middle to load the bases.
Valerio walked the next batter to drive in the go-ahead run. The next batter then doubled to the left-centerfield fence to clear the bases for a 4-1 lead.
Jasso struck out the side in the bottom of the seventh to end the game.