Late rally leads to quarterfinals
Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Madera’s Brianah Hamilton swings at a pitch for a double to drive in the go-ahead run during Wednesday’s first round playoff game. She scored two of Madera’s three runs in the victory over Independence.
Mired in a 1-1 tie, the Madera Coyotes softball team scored two runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to advance in the Div. II Central Section Playoffs.
The fifth-seeded Coyotes also got a solid pitching performance from Alexis Galvan to advance past the 12th-seeded Independence-Bakersfield Falcons with a 3-1 winon Tuesday at Zimmerman Field in the first round of the Div. II playoffs.
“I felt their pitcher did a good job spotting balls,” head coach Judy Shaubach said. “We were getting a little tight in the middle innings and going outside of what we were capable of doing. I reminded them Noodles (Galvan) was pitching her guts out and our defense was playing really well.”
Brianah Hamilton sparked the Coyotes on offense with a pair of hits, including a double to score the go-ahead run in the sixth inning. Nevaeh Galvan hit a lead-off single in the sixth to start the game-winning rally.
“She’s been swinging a hot bat,” Shaubach said of Hamilton. “She is learning to stay within herself. She picked a good pitch to hit. I’m really proud of a couple of kids. I’m proud of Nevaeh. She’s started off some big rallies in the last few games. Bri has been clutch.”
Alexis Galvan allowed a run in the first inning and allowed runners on base in four of the first five innings. However, she closed the game by retiring the final seven batters in a row with three strikeouts. Galvan struck out 12 batters and walked just one. It was the fifth game this season Galvan struck out 10 or more batters.
“Noodles (Galvan) was even keel all day,” Shaubach said. “I liked her presence on the mound. I was proud of Joc (catcher Jocelyn Mendez) and Noodles. They kept their heads and stayed in the moment.”
The Coyotes next get a date with No. 4 St. Joseph’s-Santa Maria in the quarterfinals on Friday at 4:30. St. Joseph’s defeated El Diamante-Visalia, 4-0, in the first round. Madera lost to St. Joseph’s, 6-0, in the third game of the season, but were without two of their top four hitters.
The Coyotes got on the scoreboard in the bottom of the first inning with a two-out, nobody on rally.
Hamilton started the rally with a bunt single. She then stole second.
Kailea Ricks hit a grounder up the middle. Hamilton had to evade both the ball and the Independence shortstop to race round third to score the first run of the game.
Independence scored in the next half inning. Independence reached on a single off the first base bag. After a forceout, Independence lined a ball down the right field line. The ball skipped past Madera’s right fielder and went to the fence to tie the game at one.
With a runner at third with one out, Alexis Galvan settled down and struck out the next two batters to end the threat.
Independence had another threat in the fourth inning with a lead-off single. After two strikeouts, the Falcons blooped a single to right to put runners at first and third. Galvan got a flyout to right to end the threat.
The Independence pitcher retired 10 straight batters from the second to the sixth inning before the Coyotes generated the game-winning rally.
Nevaeh Galvan hit the first pitch of the bottom of the sixth inning to right field for a single.
Hamilton then hit a 2-0 pitch into the left-centerfield gap. The ball rolled to the fence and Galvan raced round the bases to score the go-ahead run while Hamilton raced into second with a double.
Ricks put down a bunt to advance Hamilton to third. Then, Griffin put down a squeeze bunt.
The Independence third baseman fielded the ball and Hamilton stopped down the third base line. Independence threw to first to get Griffin, but Hamilton raced home to score an insurance run for a 3-1 lead.
Alexis Galvan struck out two batters, including the final one, in the seventh to secure a 3-1 victory.