Mistakes and inexperience doom Stallions


Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune

Madera South’s Alyssa Doyle keeps her hand on the bag while advancing to third on a groundout during the fourth inning of Friday night’s loss to Dinuba.

The Madera South Stallions softball team let an early lead get away by way of mistakes in a 10-7 loss to the Buhach Colony-Atwater Thunder.

The Stallions committed seven errors with five coming on the outfield and it led to four unearned runs Friday night.

“They are young,” head coach Peter Gallegos said. “They are definitely learning. I told them you could see some of our youth and inexperience, especially on offense when we have a runner on and they go after a high pitch. You have to see more pitches. They want you to chase stuff. At times, you can see a team that can compete and play against good softball teams.”

The Stallions tied the game at six in the fifth inning, but a four-run sixth inning led to their downfall.

“They switched out their pitchers and we didn’t adjust to that,” Gallegos said. “We have to let the ball get deeper and put the bat on the ball.”

Taylor Valerio led the offense with a pair of doubles. Jocelyn Mendez was 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles and scored four runs. Emma Howe drove in three runs and Mariah Williams was 2-for-4 with a double and a pair of RBIs.

Valerio was hurt by her defense starting the game in the circle. She tossed the first three innings and allowed six runs, but three were earned. The Stallions’ defense committed six of their seven errors behind her.

Williams came in relief and tossed four innings and allowed four runs, three earned. However, her defense only committed one error and that by Williams. Valerio helped her out with a pair of outfield assists from centerfield.

Buhach got on the scoreboard in the first inning. The lead-off batter singled to right and advanced to second on a throwing error from the Stallions’ right fielder, who overthrew the first baseman. Buhach sacrificed the runner to third.

Valerio got a flyball to center, but the centerfielder dropped the ball to allow the first run of the game to score and the batter reached second. Valerio got a strikeout and a groundout to end the inning.

The Stallions came roaring back in the first. Valerio led off the game with a double to left-centerfield. She stole third and scored when the throw went all the way to the left field fence.

With two outs, Mendez singled. Jessica Garcia tried to bunt her over, but Buhach’s throw to first was missed and the ball went into right field to send Mendez to third. With Howe at the plate, Mendez scored on a wild pitch. Garcia advanced to third on another wild pitch. Howe then blooped a single to right field to drive in Garcia for a 3-1 lead.

Another error led to a run in the second. The Buhach lead-off batter singled to center and advanced to second on an error on the centerfielder. The next batter singled to right to drive in the run to cut the lead to one.

Catcher Eliana Tovar threw out the runner at second trying to steal and then made a running catch on a foul popup for the second out. After a single, Valerio got a groundout to end the inning.

The Thunder took the lead in the third inning. With one out, Buhach singled. The next batter hit a ball to the left side of the infield that was misplayed for an error. After a popout, Buhach singled to left to drive in a run, but the ball went by the left fielder and Buhach added another run for a 4-3 lead.

Madera South tied the game in the bottom of the third. With one out, Mendez doubled over the centerfielder’s head. Garcia singled to left to move Mendez to third. Howe grounded out, but Mendez scored to tie the game.

Buhach led off the fourth with a single and advanced to second on a misplay by the centerfielder. The next batter hit a double off the centerfielder’s glove that had a chance to be caught to drive in the go-ahead run.

Gallegos made the switch in the circle, sending Valerio to center to stabilize the outfield and bringing in freshman Williams from center to pitch.

After a sacrifice, Buhach hit a hit-and-run fly ball to center. Valerio tracked down the fly ball and threw a bullet to first to complete the double play and get out of the inning.

Madera South tied the score in the fifth. Elena Garcia led off with a walk. She was forced at second by Mendez. Jessica Garcia drew a walk and a wild pitch put runners at second and third.

Howe grounded out to drive in Mendez and Williams doubled to left field to drive in Garcia for a brand new ballgame.

Buhach singled twice to open the sixth inning. The next batter tried to sacrifice the runners over and Madera South tried to get the force at third. Buhach beat the throw to load the bases.

After a popup for the first out of the inning, Williams hit a batter to force in the go-ahead run.

Williams settled down to strike out the next batter on three pitches. However, Williams hit her second batter of the inning to force in another run.

A wild pitch allowed another run. A throw to the plate was missed to allow another run to score for a 10-6 lead.

Madera South wasted a one-out double by Valerio, who later advanced to third on a wild pitch. The next two batters grounded out to end the sixth inning.

Mendez recorded a double play from behind the plate by catching a popup and throwing to first to double up the runner.

The Stallions made some noise in the seventh. Mendez led off with a double to right field. After a popout, Mendez advanced to third on a groundout. Williams singled up the middle to drive in Mendez.

Jocelyn Ochoa hit a possible single to right, but the runner was forced out at second to end the game.

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