Coyotes put away Tribe with walk-off homer
Benny Munoz/The Madera Tribune
Madera Coyotes softball team members congratulation Leilani Moreno (23) after she hit a two-run home run to finish a 10-0 victory over Chowchilla on Wednesday.
The Madera Coyotes softball team got offense from an unexpected source to close out a 10-0 victory over the Chowchilla Tribe at Zimmerman Field.
Madera No. 9 hitter Leilani Moreno hit her first-ever over-the-fence home run to invoke the mercy rule Wednesday evening.
The Coyotes dominated at the plate with 10 hits and on the field. Pitchers alexis Galvan and Kaylynn Powell combined for a no-hitter with six strikeouts.
“This was definitely a confidence-boosting game,” Co-Head Coach Melissa Armiento-van Loon said. “The difference was the camaraderie. In the past, we weren’t feeling it. Today, we had a team softball IQ meeting to try to improve the knowledge of the game. We brought in motivational speeches and poems. We had a tragic loss with one of our students so it was about appreciating the day.”
The win broke Madera’s three-game losing streak, but faces a tough test Thursday with defending Div. I Champion Clovis North for a second time.
“Every game is tough,” Armiento-van Loon said. “It depends on who shows up and how bad they want it. If they have a bad day, they have to leave it at the gate. They have to learn how to leave that behind them and move forward. They were able to do that today.”
All nine Coyote starters either scored a run or got a hit in the victory. Moreno was 2-for-3 with her home run and a single. Erika Perez hit a single and a double and drove in two. Eliza Nunez and Brianah Hamilton also had two hits.
Galvan retired the last 10 batters she saw after a shaky first inning. She struck out the first two batters of the game, but a hit batter, catcher’s interference and a walk loaded the bases before a strikeout ended the inning.
Galvan then struck out three of the next nine batters to the fifth inning. Powell came in and threw just four pitches to four batters in a scoreless inning. She hit the first batter on the first pitch of the inning before retiring the side on three pitches.
It took an inning for the Madera bats came alive and it came from the bottom of the order. Nunez led off the inning with a single to left. Hamilton sacrificed her to second. Nastasha Griffin singled up the middle to drive in Nunez for a 1-0 lead.
Madera sent eight batters to the plate in a five-run third inning. Kailea Ricks led off the inning with a four-pitch walk. Ricks advanced to second when a pickoff throw went in the dirt and into right field.
After a pop-out, Powell drew a four-pitch walk. Perez then hit the first pitch she saw down the right field line to drive in Ricks.
Nunez singled to left to drive in Powell and Hamilton singled up the middle to drive in Perez.
Nunez scored on a wild pitch while Hamilton took third. Griffin drew a walk. With Galvan at the plate, Griffin tried to steal second, but stopped when the throw went to second. Hamilton beat the throw back to the plate, but Griffin was thrown out going back to first, but the Coyotes led 6-0.
Moreno led off the fourth inning with a single to right field. Ricks tried to reach on a bunt, but was thrown out and Moreno took second. Nevaeh Galvan was hit by a pitch and a passed ball moved both runners up 60 feet.
Powell grounded out, but Moreno came in to score with Galvan taking third. Perez singled to left to drive in Galvan for an 8-0 lead.
The Coyotes closed out the game in the fifth. Hamilton led off the inning with a single up the middle.
After the next two batters were retired, Moreno hit the second pitch she saw to deep left field. The ball kept sailing and it flew over the left field fence. Moreno was so surprised, she stopped at second and wondered what was going on before she was told she hit a home run.
Moreno hit the plate to give the Coyotes a 10-0 lead and end the game by mercy rule.