Young Hawks earn win against Kerman
Tomas Kassahun/The Madera Tribune
Members of the Liberty Hawks softball team, including Jaclyn Smith (3) and Lauren Chapman (16) surround pitcher Karsyn Bauer after an 8-1 Div. III quarterfinal victory over Kerman on Thursday.
The Liberty Hawks softball team cruised to an 8-1 home win against North Sequoia League rival, Kerman, in the quarterfinals of the Div. III Central Section Championships.
The Hawks opened up a 2-0 lead in the second inning and continued to add to their tally while displaying their prowess on defense. The Hawks scored four more in the third and closed out the scoring with two more runs in the fourth inning.
“They played like they’re capable of playing,” Liberty coach Steve Uyeda said about his team. “Our defense is pretty good and our offense is really coming around. And our pitching did its job.”
Freshman pitcher Karsyn Bauer played a major role in the victory, pitching a complete game and striking out four batters. She scattered eight hits, but battled to allow just one run.
“For a freshman, she has done a nice job,” Uyeda said about his pitcher. “There was a little pressure in the first inning or so, but she kind of settled in.”
Liberty’s Rylee Bocchini drove in Paige Chapman in the third inning to make it 3-0. After Lauren Chapman drove in Jaclyn Smith to score the next run for the Hawks, Katelyn Edmundson followed up with another RBI. Freshman Maci Whaley tacked on one more RBI before the end of the third inning, for a 6-0 lead.
Kerman scored its only run of the game in the fourth.
Lauren Chapman got the run back with a home run in the bottom of the fourth to drive in two more runs. That would end up being the last score of the game.
The Hawks put two runners on base in the sixth, but failed to add to their lead. Kerman also had hits in the fifth and sixth inning, but the Hawks held firm without allowing runs.
Smith led the Hawks with four hits with a double. Rylee Bocchini was 2-for-3 with a run scored and an RBI. Edmonson also hit a home run and drove in three runs.
Uyeda said he was happy with how his young team, which features 10 underclassmen, stayed composed when Kerman found momentum.
“It’s a young team, but they’re coming around,” he said. “They have ability. We’ve been in five extra-inning ball games this year and have won all five of those close games, so they have a knack.”