Tyler Takeda/The Madera Tribune
Liberty’s Camille Vestal jogs into second after she hit a go-ahead double in the top of the sixth inning to drive in the only run of a 1-0 victory over Monache on Saturday at the Tulare Easter Classic.
TULARE — The Liberty Hawks softball team earned a split on the first day of the Tulare Easter Softball Classic.
On Saturday morning, the Hawks, who are in Div. III, lost a 9-3 decision to Div. II Independence-Bakersfield.
“Overall, the caliber is stronger throughout the lineup here,” head coach Steve Uyeda said. “In league, most teams go four or five deep. These teams can go all the way through the line-up. The reason why we play this tournament is to see what we need to do to get better before league starts. This will help us.”
However, the Hawks got a run in the sixth inning for a 1-0 victory over Div. II power Monache-Porterville to earn a split.
“It was nice to get the win,” Uyeda said. “The kids hung in there and did what they had to do. Sarah (Shevenell) struggled a little, but did what she needed to get the win. It’s a great growing experience for us.”
Despite a questionable strike zone, Liberty pitcher Sarah Shevenell tossed a two-hitter. She struck out four and walked three batters. She also stranded six runners.
Liberty banged out five hits, including Camille Vestel’s go-ahead, two-out double in the sixth.
The Hawks stranded four runners on the bases, all four in scoring position.
Hannah Casner reached on a two-out error in the first and stole second, but a groundout ended the inning.
Meanwhile, the Marauders got a lead-off walk and a sacrifice bunt to second in the first inning. Shevenell settled down and got a strikeout and a popout to end the threat.
Lauren Chapman led off the second inning with a double to left center. She advanced to third on a Shevenell groundout. However, a groundout and flyout ended Liberty’s threat.
Shevenell got into and out of trouble all game long. Monache put runners at first and second with one out in the third, but Shevenell got a strikeout and a popout to end the inning.
Monache got a lead-off single in the fourth and a sacrifice bunt. Shevenell got another popout and flyout to end the inning.
The Marauders got a one-out walk in the fifth. A wild pitch and a dropped third strike put a runner at third with two outs. Shevenell got a flyout to left to end the inning.
The Hawks started a nobody on, two-out rally in the top of the sixth inning. Casner started the rally with a single to center.
On the first pitch to Vestal, Casner stole second. On the next pitch, Vestal hit an opposite field double down the right field line to drive in Casner for a 1-0 lead.
In the bottom of the sixth, Shevenell got a groundout and a strikeout before a single. Then, she got a lineout to shortstop Jaclyn Smith to end the game.