Big inning leads Coyotes to win
Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune Madera Coyote senior Tea Layne slides in safely at third with a triple while Madera South third baseman A.J. Martinez waits for the ball during Friday’s 14-2 victory at Zimmerman Field.
The Madera Coyotes softball team turned a one-run game into a rout after putting 11 consecutive batters on the bases for a 14-2 victory over the Madera South Stallions.
The Coyotes took an early lead, but Madera South scored two unearned runs in the third to cut the lead to one. Then, the Coyotes answered with 11 runs in the bottom of the fourth inning to put the game away and invoke the mercy rule on Senior Night at Zimmerman Field on Friday.
“Our bunting, short game is our strength,” Coyote head coach Judy Shaubach said. “It took us a while to get going. There’s a lot of distractions on this night. Senior night always gives us a lot to think about. Once we settled in, I thought we made some nice adjustments at the plae, going deep in the count, going the opposite way and hitting good pitches. We ran the bases extremely well. I was really pleased with that tonight. The kids were looking for extra bases, looking to steal. I thought we played well offensively.”
The win helped the Coyotes solidify its No. 4 ranking in the Div. II playoffs, announced Saturday. Madera received a first round bye and hosts No. 5 Tulare Western on Thursday. Meanwhile, Madera South earned the No. 7 seed in Div. IV and hosted No. 10 Fowler on Tuesday.
The Coyotes took advantage of their speed with seven stolen bases taking the extra bases, including a Gennahlyn Sanchez double on a bunt.
“The kids were in the game and focused,” Shaubach said. “They were having a good time.”
Kaylee Dawson allowed six hits, but struck out seven in the victory.
“Kaylee pitched well enough to win,” Shaubach said. “She buckled down and did what she had to do.”
Valerie Ornelas hit a double and a triple with two RBIs. Sofia Perez had three hits, including a double and drove in two runs. Taylor Brooks added two hits and scored two runs for the Coyotes.
Six different Stallions batters had hits, including a double from Mealeah Galvan.
The Coyotes got on the scoreboard in the first inning. Brooks led off with a single up the middle and stole two bases. After a strikeout, Aaliyah Cuevas singled to left-centerfield to drive in Brooks.
Ornelas followed with a triple to right-center to drive in Cuevas. Ornelas scored on a Haley Perez groundout for a 3-0 lead.
The Coyotes were kept off the scoreboard until the fourth inning after Madera South cut the Coyotes’ lead to one.
With two outs, Savaanah Garcia reached on an infield single for Madera South. She went to second on an error and scored on Jessie Maciel’s bloop single to right. Erica Valdez singled to center to drive in Esmeralda Moreno to cut Madera’s lead to one.
Madera put the game away in the fourth inning. Perez was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning. Mikayla Ruiz reached on a bunt single to put runners at first and second.
Dawson doubled to right-center to drive in pinch-runner Brooke Gill and Ruiz.
Sofia Perez hit a liner off the midsection of Madera South pitcher Erica Valdez and beat a throw to first. Pinch-runner Kailie Gutierrez stole second to put runners at second and third.
Sanchez put down a bunt up the first base line. She beat the throw to first and didn’t hesitate rounding the bag to an unoccupied second base for a 30-foot double while pinch-runner Josslyn Davis came in to score.
Brooks then reached on an error while Gutierrez came in to score. Brooks broke for second and beat the tag at the bag. Meanwhile, Sanchez broke for the plate and slid in before the tag for another run.
After Brooks scored on a wild pitch, Tea Layne followed with a triple to the right-center gap. Layne also scored on a wild pitch for a 10-2 lead.
Cuevas started the next rally with a walk and stole second and third while scoring on an Ornelas double. Perez checked her swing on a pitch, but accidentally hit the ball with the knob of the bat. No one reacted to the ball besides Perez, who beat a throw to first.
Ruiz drew a walk to load the bases. After a strikeout, Perez worked a full count and hit a two-run double to left-center for the 14-2 lead.
Dawson allowed a walk in the fifth, but struck out the final two innings to end the game.