Hawks’ offense heats up cold night
Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Liberty’s Rylee Bocchini watches the flight of the ball as it sails over the centerfield fence for a two-run home run in the top of the first inning in Tuesday’s 10-5 victory over the Madera Coyotes.
The Liberty Hawks softball team’s offense warmed up a cold night with 10 runs in an early-season victory over the Madera Coyotes earlier this week.
The Hawks got a two-run home run from Rylee Bocchinin in the first inning and added five more runs in the fifth inning to put the game out of reach. However, the Coyotes battled back and put pressure on the Hawks with three runs in the bottom of the seventh despite waiting through a 10-minute rain delay.
The Liberty 4-5-6 hitters did most of the damage. Bocchini, Lauren Chapman and Maci Whaley combined for five of the Hawks’ eight hits, scored five of the 10 runs and drove in seven of the 10 runs.
Karsyn Bauer tossed a complete game and battled through 10 Madera hits. She seemed to tire late and allowed four hits and walked three in the final two innings. She struck out nine and allowed two earned runs.
What also helped the Hawks is they went 5-of-9 with runners in scoring position and left just two runners on base. Meanwhile, Madera was just 2-of-11 with runners in scoring position and left 11 runners on base.
Madera pitcher Alexis Galvan, who came into the game with a 0.78 ERA, allowed eight runs, but just two were earned. She struck out eight.
Brianah Hamilton had two hits, incluing a double. Madera’s No. 8 batter, Kaylynn Powell, and No. 9 batter, Leilani Moreno, each had two hits.
Liberty’s Lauren Chapman hit the first pitch she saw back up the middle for a single. After a strikeout, Bocchini hit a 2-2 change-up over the centerfield fence for a 2-0 lead.
Madera battled by loading the bases in the bottom of the inning. Eliza Nunez singled and Sadie Gonzalez reached on a bunt single. After a strikeout, Galvan drew a walk to load the bases. A strikeout and a flyout ended the inning.
Galvan struck out five of the next six batters before Madera pushed over a run in the bottom of the third.
Gonzalez reached on an error. She stole second and the throw went into centerfield and under the glove of the centerfielder. Gonzalez raced around the bases to score Madera’s first run of the game.
Liberty pushed over a run in the top of the fourth. Bocchini tripled to the opposite field. Galvan struck out the next batter, but Whaley put down a safety squeeze bunt to drive in Bocchini for a 3-1 lead.
Madera had a chance to tie the game in the fourth. Nevaeh Galvan doubled down the left field line. However, she was thrown out trying to steal third. With two outs, Powell and Moreno singled, but a flyout ended the threat.
Liberty opened the floodgates in the fifth and it didn’t come from the rain clouds. With one out Sayler Steiner was hit by a pitch. Paige Chapman reached on an error. After a groundout, Bocchini was intentionally walked to load the bases with two outs.
Lauren Chapman singled to right to drive in Steiner and her sister. Whaley followed with a double to deep left field to drive in Bocchini and Chapman. Sanchez singled up the middle to drive in Whaley for an 8-1 lead.
Liberty added two more runs in the sixth. With one out, Steiner reached on an error and Paige Chapman singled to left. An misplayed ball in left allowed Steiner and Chapman to score for a 10-1 lead.
Madera loaded the bases in the sixth, but came away with just one run. Jocelyn Mendez reached on an error. Powell and Moreno followed with singles to load the bases. Nunez drew a four-pitch walk to force in Mendez. The next batter struck out and Liberty catcher, Bocchini, picked off Coyote runners at first and third to end the inning.
The Coyotes put pressure on in the seventh inning. Hamilton lined a double to centerfield. After a strikeout, Nastasha Griffin and Nevaeh Galvan drew walks to load the bases. Mendez singled up the middle to drive in Hamilton. Powell reached on an error while Griffin scored. Moreno grounded out and Galvan scored to cut the lead to 10-5. The next batter flied out to right to end the game for a Liberty victory.