For The Madera Tribune
The 2014 Bobby Sox 8-under All-Star team. Front row, from left, are Kailea Ricks, Gabriela Medina, Jayleen Gutknecht, Arissah Garza, Malyha Valdivia and Jocelyn Galicia. Middle row, from left, are Valerie Ruz, Natty Griffin, Mariah Williams, Aaliyah Marquez, Neveah LaMattina and Alannah Ward. Back row, from left, are coach Michelle Ward, manager Fabien Samora, coach Anthony Garza, coach Leandre Ricks and chaperone Bresha LaMattina.
With the tying run at third base with nobody out in the bottom of the last inning, the Madera Bobby Sox 8-under All-Star team pulled off a double play and pitcher Natty Griffin struck out the last batter for a 6-5 victory to win the Bobby Sox Tournament of Champions.
After going 1-2 in the district tournament in Salinas, the Madera Bobby Sox team went 4-1 in the Tournament of Champions, capping it off with a 6-5 victory over Vacaville in the title game.
With a runner at third, Griffin got a pop-up to first baseman Kailea Ricks for the first out. Ricks then threw across the diamond to get the runner at third off the bag as Alannah Ward put on the tag for the second out and sent Madera to the win.
“We didn’t play well in the district, but turned it around in the championship tournament,” manager Fabien Samora said. “We had a few new girls who were in shock. In the second tournament, they were amazing, all of them.”
Samora and the rest of the coaching staff singled out the team’s three bunters — Jocelyn Galicia, Arissah Garza and Malyha Valdivia — for leading the team.
“We only had three that bunted, they all did a great job,” Samora said.
Samora’s daughter, Griffin, pitched every inning but three and carried the team to the victory.
Coyotes get ready for new season
Now in his third season, Madera Coyote football head coach Yosef Fares is ready to get the ball rolling on the 2018 season.
The unofficial start to that season was at the Madera Coyote Football Kick-Off Dinner at San Joaquin Wine Company.
“We’re really trying to connect the team with the community,” Fares told the crowd. “I’m really excited to see alumni and community members come to this events, as well as our parents from the three levels.”