Coyotes power a perfect game
Benny Munoz/The Madera Tribune
The Madera Coyotes softball team forms a tunnel for Erika Perez (11) to run through after she hit her second home run in Friday’s 13-0 victory over the Madera South Stallions.
While the Madera Coyotes softball team provided enough offense, pitcher Alexis Galvan got help from her defense for an 11-0 perfect game against the Madera South Stallions.
The Coyotes got a pair of home runs from Erika Perez and a record-breaking home run from Brianah Hamilton for the six-inning, mercy-rule victory Friday evening over the Stallions.
“That’s a good team over there,” Madera South head coach Peter Gallegos said. “They are playing really well. Kudos to them. They are a great team.”
The Coyotes led 5-0 after the first two innings. After getting shut out for the next two, the Coyotes broke the game open with a seven-run sixth.
“We just got excited,” Madera head coach Judy Shaubach said. “We were pulling off balls and getting ahead of ourselves. Some of the things we worked on in practice was we knew she was going to work us in on our hands. We were really working on getting through balls. We were excited.”
Galvan struck out eight batters over six innings. She moved into third place for most strikeouts in a season with 184. She is also three strikeouts away from tying the school record for most strikeouts in a career.
She got some help from her defense. Shortstop Kailea Ricks caught a line drive at her shoe tops in the second.
Galvan struck out a batter in every inning except the sixth when she thought she lost the perfect game.
Madera South’s Samantha Nunez hit a liner over Galvan’s head into center field. However, Hamilton charged the ball and came up throwing. She threw to first to get Nunez to preserve the perfect game.
Galvan closed the inning with a grounder back to her and another to third base.
Both teams will try to build momentum in the last week of the season ahead of the Central Section playoffs. Madera battles Sanger on Tuesday and closes the season Friday against Bullard-Fresno. Meanwhile, Madera South plays Bullard on Tuesday and closes the season on Thursday against Edison-Fresno.
“We have our moments where we go up and go down,” Gallegos said. “Hopefully, it’s a learning experience so we can get better.”
“Our thing is growth,” Shaubach said. “We want to get better every game. That’s the word for us is improving. I like where our team is. We’re having fun together. They are rallying around each other and are starting to feed off each other.”
Perez got the game started on the right track by hitting the fourth pitch of the game over the centerfield fence for her fourth home run of the season.
Madera South pitcher Mariah Williams retired the next two batters before Ricks singled to left and Kaylynn Powell drew a walk. However, Williams got a groundout to end the inning.
Madera added four more runs in the second inning. Nastashi Griffin was hit by a pitch. Leilani Moreno sacrificed her to second. Sadie Gonzalez reached on a bunt single.
Gonzalez stole second. Perez singled to right to drive in both Griffin and Gonzalez for a 3-0 lead.
Perez stole second and Nevaeh Galvan was hit by a pitch. A wild pitch moved runners to second and third. Hamilton hit a ball over the left fielder’s head for a double to drive in Perez and Galvan. However, Hamilton was tagged out trying for a triple.
Ricks singled and Powell walked, again, to start another rally, but a popout ended the inning.
Williams seemed to settle down and retired the Coyotes in order in the fourth and allowed an unearned run in the fifth.
With one out, Jocelyn Mendez reached on an error. Griffin forced pinch-runner Meah Avila at second.
Moreno singled to left and a misplay allowed Griffin to advance to third and Moreno to second. Gonzalez drew a walk to load the bases. A passed ball to Perez allowed Griffin to score for a 6-0 lead.
The Coyotes put the game away in the sixth inning. Galvan led off the inning with a first-pitch single up the middle.
Hamilton hit the second pitch she saw over the left-centerfield fence for a two-run home run. The home run was her sixth of the season, which is second all-time for most home runs in a season, and her 13th of her career to break the mark that was set in 2020.
Madera South got the next two outs and then Mendez doubled to left-centerfield. Griffin followed with another double to left-center to drive in pinch-runner Avila.
Moreno reached on an error that allowed Griffin to score while Moreno advanced to second. Gonzalez reached on another error that allowed Moreno to score for a 9-0 lead.
Perez hit the first pitch of her sixth inning at-bat over the right-centerfield fence for a two run home run for her first career two home run game and a 13-0 lead. Perez enjoyed her week, going a combined 6-for-9 with three home runs and 11 RBIs.
Galvan got some help to retire the side in order in the fifth for the perfect game.