Coyotes grab tough win over Atwater
Benny Munoz/The Madera Tribune
Madera shortstop Kailea Ricks makes the stretch at second base for a forceout in the sixth inning of Thursday’s 2-0 victory over the Atwater Falcons.
The Madera Coyotes softball team did enough good things to record a non-conference victory over the Atwater Falcons at Zimmerman Field.
Madera pitcher Alexis Galvan struck out 11 batters and allowed just a first inning double. She retired 13 straight batters at one point. It’s her fourth double-digit strikeout game in nine appearances this season.
Madera needed Galvan to be on and the defense to be on point because the Coyotes’ offense only had three hits, but were able to manufacture two runs.
“Our goal in the last few practices are to put the ball in play,” head coach Judy Shaubach said. “Erika (Perez) did a good job of that. She put the ball in play.”
Kailea Ricks led the Coyotes with a pair of hits, including a double. Kaylynn Powell had the other hit. Sadie Gonzalez and Perez scored the runs.
Atwater put Madera’s backs to the wall in the top of the first inning. After a strikeout, Atwater reached on an error.
On the eighth pitch of the next at-bat, Atwater doubled to the right-centerfield gap. Centerfielder Brianah Hamilton raced to get to the ball and threw to Ricks, cutting the ball off. Ricks rifled a strike to Jocelyn Mendez at the plate and the runner knew she was out and didn’t even attempt a slide.
“I thought we improved our defense,” Shaubach said. “Our outfield relay was awesome. We’ve been practicing that. I was happy to see good communication. Kailea made a heck of a throw. It was just good all the way around.”
Galvan got a line-out to Nastasha Griffin at first base to end the inning and begin a stretch of retiring 13 straight batters with eight strikeouts.
The Coyotes put two runs on the board in the third inning. With one out, Gonzalez reached on a dropped third strike. She stole second. Perez hit a swinging bunt and reached on an errant throw while Gonzalez took third on another errant throw.
Eliza Nunez put down a safety squeeze and Gonzalez dashed home while the throw went to first for the first run of the game and Perez took third.
Ricks followed with a single up the middle to drive in Perez for a 2-0 lead.
Madera had a chance to break open the game in the fourth. Powell singled to center and Nevaeh Galvan was hit by a pitch.
A popped up bunt and a groundout allowed pinch-runner Meah Avila to advance to third and Galvan to second, but a groundout ended threat.
Atwater’s lone baserunner after the first inning reached on an error. However, she was erased when the next batter tried to bunt her over to second.
Perez charged and made a throw to force out the runner. Alexis Galvan settled down and struck out the next two batters to end the inning.
Madera couldn’t muster up any more offense and were retired in order in the fifth and sixth innings.
Meanwhile, Galvan threw just six pitches to get three groundouts in the seventh for a 2-0 victory.