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Softball drops two at state

Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune

Madera National’s Valerie Ruz rips a triple to left center during Saturday’s loss to Consumnes River on Saturday in the NorCal State Softball championship at Town and Country Park.


The Madera National Little League 8-10-year-old All-Star softball team advanced to the NorCal State Tournament after a victory in the sectionals two weeks ago.

However, the MNLL All-Stars found out they still have some work to do in their second year of existence in Little League after getting bounced in two games Saturday at Town and Country Park in the championship tournament.

Madera National opened their tournament with a 14-4 loss to eventual tournament runner-up Sutter Buttes-Yuba City Little League. In its next game, Madera National lost 13-1 to Consumnes River-Rancho Murrietta Little League to be eliminated from the double-elimination tournament.

However, in just two years of existence, Madera National was able to advance to the final tournament of the season. The NorCal State championship is the furthest the 8-10-year-old All-Stars team could advance.

Gilroy Little League defeated Sutter Buttes 15-9 in Sunday’s championship game.

Sutter Buttes 14, Madera National 4

Despite getting only one hit, Madera National overcame a nine-run deficit to put four runs on the board against the eventual state runners-up.

Marisa Rincon recorded the lone hit for Madera National.

However, Madera National found itself in a nine-run hole before it even came to the plate. Sutter Buttes sent 14 batters to the plate and scored nine runs on nine hits in the first inning, including a bases loaded-clearing double, a two-run single and an RBI triple.

Sutter Buttes added five more runs to its lead in the second inning on five hits, highlighted by a two-run single and a triple.

Madera National took advantage of five Sutter Butte errors and two walks to score four runs in the bottom of the second.

Nozomi Kwock led off the inning with a walk. She stole second and advanced to third on an error. Gabby Medina reached on an error and Kwock scored Madera National’s first run.

An error sent Medina to third. After a strikeout, Rincon reached on an infield single and Natalia Cortez drew a walk to load the bases.

Ariana Castro reached on a fielder’s choice and Medina came in to score. Valerie Ruz reached on an error and Rincon came in to score. On the play, Cortez scored on another error to cut the lead to 14-4.

After allowing 14 runs in the first two innings, Medina struck out two in a scoreless third and Jayleen Gutknecht tossed a scoreless fourth despite two runners reaching on an error.

Sutter Buttes’ pitcher Payton Smith retired the final seven batters in order, including six by strikeout to close out a 14-4 mercy-rule victory.

Consumnes River 13, Madera National 1

Consumnes River put together a seven-run and a six-run inning to cruise to a 13-1 victory over Madera National.

Madera National was held to just two hits in the game — a triple from Ruz and a single from Kwock.

Consumnes River started the scoring with a two-out rally in the bottom of the first.

Madera National starting pitcher Ruz walked the first batter she faced. However, she got a strikeout and a groundout for the next two outs.

However, the next nine batters reached base to chase Ruz. Consumnes River sent 13 batters to the plate and took advantage of six walks from Ruz and another from Gutknecht for an early 7-0 lead.

Eleven more batters went to the plate in the second while Consumnes River scored six runs, all unearned, on just two hits with four walks and three Madera National errors.

Madera National scored its only run in the second inning when Ruz led off with a triple to left-center field. Medina grounded out, but Ruz came in to score for Madera National’s lone run.

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