Shoe Shak walks off with MNLL title
Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Madera National Little League umpire Greg Willet watches Shoe Shak’s Danity Aguirre slide under the tag of Mazon Trucking catcher Autumn Dunlop to score the game-winning run of Tuesday’s MNLL Softball Championship game.
Madera National Little League softball majors regular seson champion Mazon Trucking seemed to have the title game under control with three runs in the first two innings.
However, Shoe Shak scored six runs in the final three innings to walk off a 6-5 victory to capture the Madera National Little League softball championship.
“I told my kids don’t give up,” Shoe Shak manager Ed Medina said. “Don’t worry about the score. We’re going to come around and start hitting. You’re going to see that pitcher again and get on base. We weren’t getting on base. She’s a good pitcher. We weren’t confident enough. Her speed was killing us.”
Shoe Shak loaded the bases with nobody out in the sixth. They got a run across on a wild pitch and then Nazomi Sandoval hit a short grounder to the circle. Emma Frausto got it for Mazon Trucking and threw to the plate to Autumn Dunlop. However, Danity Aguirre slid across the plate to score the winning run to cap a three-run sixth.
“We told them to give it all you have,” Medina said. “Don’t worry about the score. If it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be. Once we loaded it up, I knew we had it. It was going to be tough to get us out.”
Jayleen Gutknecht allowed three runs over the first five innings for Mazon Trucking. She struck out 11 and allowed just two hits, but grew tired under the 100 degree heat.
Gabby Medina picked up the victory in the circle. She pitched a complete game, scattering seven hits. She walked five and struck out seven.
Shoe Shak only managed three hits in the game, but it was enough for the win. Aubrey Mendez had two hits, including a double. Danielle Aguirre added a triple.
Mazon Trucking was led by Dunlop, who had two hits, scored to runs with a triple. Arianna Perez had two hits. Frausto had a hit and scored three runs. Iyanna Molano and Alexa Garcia added hits.
Mazon Trucking got the scoring started in the top of the first inning. Frausto led off by drawing a walk. She stole second and went to third on an error. After a popout, Frausto scored on a wild pitch.
After another popout, Dunlop tripled over the head of the Shoe Shak centerfielder. She came in to score on a wild pitch to Molano. Molan drew a walk and Perez singled, but a strikeout ended the threat.
Mazon added to its lead in the second. No. 9 batter Baylie Romo drew a walk and went to second when Frausto drew another walk.
A wild pitch allowed both runners to advance a base. Gutknecht hit a grounder to third, but Romo was tagged out at the plate by Sandoval.
Fransto came in to score on an error for a 3-0 lead.
Shoe Shak got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the fourth inning with a nobody on, two out rally.
Aguirre split the right-centerfield gap for a triple and then scored on a Mendez single to left-center.
“Once I noticed our big bats came around and got that one run, I kind of sensed it a little bit,” Medina said. “I thought we’re in this. We’re not out. We’re going to go the full six innings. I told the girls to not give up.”
Shoe Shak cut the lead to one in the fifth. Kayla Arredondo led off the inning with a walk. She stole second and went to third on a wild pitch. After a strikeout, Macy Morgan reached first on a dropped third strike and stole second.
Sandoval hit a grounder up the middle that went by the shortstop for an error. Arredondo and Morgan scored to cut the lead to one.
Sandoval advanced to second and went to third on a sacrifice from Medina. Marisa Rincon drew a walk and stole second, but Gutknecht got the next batter to ground out to end the inning.
In the top of the sixth, Mazon Trucking added an insurance run. With one out, Frausto reached on an infield single, stole second, went to third on an error and scored on Gutknecht’s groundout for a 5-3 lead.
Mendez led off the sixth with a double to the left-centerfield gap. Mia Cross-Miller drew a walk. Both runners advanced on a wild pitch.
Danity Aguirre loaded the bases with a walk. Zhanette Avalos drew another walk and Mendez scored. After a strikeout, Cross-Miller scored on a wild pitch to tie the score while Aguirre and Avalos advanced a base.
On a 1-2 pitch, Sandoval hit a grounder back to Frausto in the circle. Aguirre slid across home plate to beat the tag to score the game-winning run.