Despite the seeding, whether good or bad, the Madera Coyotes and the Clovis Cougars softball teams did all their talking on the field.
After three patient innings by the fourth-seeded Cougars, sophomore Macey Grigsby jumpstarted the Clovis offense with a two-run double in the bottom of the fourth inning to energize the home team and ignite the offense for 11 runs in three innings to advance into the next round of the CIF Division I Central Section playoffs after an 11-2 victory over 13th-seeded Madera on May 7.
For the Coyotes, they opened the game on the right foot. Defensively they were getting behind the ball and making strong throws and, at the plate, they were staying patient and looking for their pitch.
However, the Coyotes couldn’t muster much offense on the day. Madera finished the game with two runs on eight hits, but they had their chances to make the Cougars pay. But overall, Madera Coyotes head coach Judy Shaubach was proud of her players effort as a whole against a powerhouse like the Cougars.
“I thought we had three great, strong innings and we had a couple of bad innings. They are a good team and that’s why they were champions last year,” she said. “They put the ball in play, and they did exactly what they needed to do.”
A few big innings made things difficult for the Coyotes, but the team never gave up. There are always those little things, but I was very proud with the way we fought back.”
Madera opened the top of the first inning with some energy. Tayah Hernandez singled to lead off the game and although freshman Eliza DeAnda found a gap, runner interference was called as Hernandez collided with a Cougar infielder, causing an out.
The Coyotes went right back to work in the top of the second inning after three walks loaded the bases for Madera. Valerie Ornelas, Mariah McMillon and Neveah Montes all reached base, but the Coyotes were unable to cash in.
Madera scored its two runs in the top of the sixth inning after a drag bunt by Joslynn Davis and a single by Valerie Ornelas set Madera up for success. Felicity Rocha doubled to left, driving in a run.
Madera now trailed 9-1 but wanted more as Ornelas reached home plate on a passed ball by the Cougars catcher. The Coyotes cut the deficit to 9-2, but that was all they could muster as Clovis added two more runs for insurance.