Coyotes topple Buchanan Bears, 8-4
Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
The Madera Coyotes softball team keeps the energy going in an 8-4 victory over the Buchanan Bears on Tuesday at Zimmerman Field.
When the Madera Coyotes softball team lost to the Buchanan-Clovis Bears, 14-4, on March 18, it was their fourth game and things were still being discovered.
The Coyotes have gone a long way since that game. They took the lead over the Bears in the first inning and never let up in an 8-4 revenge victory Tuesday at Zimmerman Field for a 4-2 record over their last six games.
“This is night and day progress,” said co-head coach Melissa Armiento-van Loon. “The first time, we were trying to figure it out and who to go where. We were trying to jell as a team and understand each player. Now, we are starting to figure it out.”
The Coyotes banged out 13 hits and jumped out to a 5-1 lead and an 8-3 lead for the victory. Brianah Hamilton became the fifth person in Madera Coyotes softball history to hit two home runs in a game.
“I loved the energy today,” Armiento-van Loon said. “It was consistent the whole game. If there was a glimmer of light, we countered.”
“I feel good about myself,” Hamilton said. I knew I had to do this for my team. I knew they haven’t beaten this team. I had to help them.
Kailea Ricks hit two doubles with four RBI’s, Eliza Nunez drove in two, Erika Perez and Lealani Ricks each scored two runs.
Alexis Galvan had control in the circle for six of the seven innings. She allowed two home runs in the fifth, but was otherwise in control. She struck out six and allowed eight hits.
“Alexis commanded the mound,” Armiento-van Loon said. “She was confident and worked through it. She had her gameface on. We’ve been working on it. Sometimes she would show her emotions. This game, it didn’t matter.”
Madera got on the scoreboard in he first inning and scored in four of the six innings.
Perez started the bottom of the first with a single. Ricks put down a bunt to move Perez over, but beat it out. The throw went into right field and Perez advanced to third.
After Ricks stole second, Kailea Ricks hit a ball to the right-center gap for a double while Perez and Ricks came in to score.
With Nunez at the plate, Ricks was caught trying to steal third. Nunez then hit a ball down the right field line, but was cut down trying to stretch her double into a triple.
Madera put runners on base in every inning against Buchanan starter Christal Lopez.
Madera added two more runs in the third with help from the Buchanan defense. Lealani Ricks reached on an error and advanced to third on Kaylee Patlan’s single to right-center. Patlan advanced to second on the throw to try to get Ricks at third. Two batters later, Nunez singled to right-center to drive in Ricks and Patlan for a 4-0 lead.
Hamilton battled with Lopez to lead off the fourth inning. After three foul balls, and on the ninth pitch, Hamilton got a pitch in her wheel house and didn’t let it get past. Hamilton launched the pitch over the centerfield fence for a solo home run and a 5-0 lead.
Galvan ran into trouble in the fifth. She allowed a home run on the first pitch of the inning. After a single and a fielder’s choice, she allowed another home run on the first pitch of the at-bat to cut Madera’s lead to 5-3.
Madera responded in the sixth with three runs of their own. Hamilton led off the inning with a high fly ball to left that cleared the fence for her second homer and fourth of the season
“I knew the first one was gone,” she said. “The second one was high and I hoped it wasn’t too high.”
Sarah Walter kept the inning going with a walk. She went to second on a single by Perez. Ricks sacrificed both runners over.
After a strikeout, Kailea Ricks split the left-center gap for her second double of the game to drive in Walter and Perez for an 8-3 lead.
Galvan allowed a one-out solo home run in the seventh, but she struck out the next batter. Galvan allowed a single and another batter reached on an error. However, Galvan struck out the next batter to record an 8-4 victory over Buchanan.