Merced softball hits four HRs in win over Buhach Colony

April 9, 2013 

These chicks definitely dig the long ball.

The Merced softball team took advantage of a blustery Tuesday afternoon as the Bears launched four home runs, including two dingers from Ruby Quiralte, as they blitzed Buhach Colony 9-1 at Merced High.

“It felt good I was able to do that for my team,” said Quiralte, who doubled her season home run total to four and knocked in four runs. “I wanted to keep up the intensity and let my teammates feed off that.”

The last time the two teams met Merced (14-5 overall, 6-1 Central California Conference) needed 10 innings to pull out a 2-1 victory over the Thunder (9-8, 5-2).

This time any time Buhach Colony pitcher Mary Castillo made a mistake up in the zone Merced capitalized.

The Bears scored four runs with two outs in the bottom of the first inning. The big blows were Serina Castillo’s run-scoring triple, followed by Quiralte’s two-run blast over the right-field fence.

“We swung the bats early in the count,” Merced coach Bart McAfee said. “We didn’t let Mary get ahead of us and let her throw her pitch. “We’ve been trying to do that all year. In the games we hit well we’re jumping on them. It’s good to take pitches, but you can’t take too many and fall behind in the count.”

The Bears continued their home run derby with a solo shot by Megan Kravic in the fourth inning.

Madilyn Nickles and Quiralte each added two-run homers in the fifth inning. Merced now has 11 home runs this season.

Nickles went the distance to pick up the win. The freshman struck out eight and gave up just one run on six hits.

“Merced just had (Castillo’s) number today,” Buhach Colony coach Michelle Osmer said. “We couldn’t do anything against Mady early in the game like I would have liked.

“We told Mary you can’t get the ball up against them. Those girls are just too good of hitters.”

Merced finished with 13 hits, with five players finishing with multiple hits. The Bears remain in a tie with Atwater, which beat Pitman 5-4 on Tuesday, atop the CCC standings.

“This is what we’re capable of, scoring runs,” McAfee said. “We’ve got girls who can swing it.”

Atwater 5, Pitman 4

TURLOCK — Alexis Montoya drove in three runs as the Falcons (6-1 CCC) remained tied atop the CCC with Merced. Grace Santistevan came on to pitch in the bottom of the seventh inning with two runners in scoring position and no outs. The Falcons sophomore pitched out of the jam to pick up the save.

Golden Valley 17, Turlock 7

Alexis Mahoney and Karle Gonzales each drove in three runs as the Cougars scored a season-high in runs.

Golden Valley’s Bri Turner added two hits, three runs and two RBIs.

BOYS

Baseball

Los Banos 7, Pacheco 2

LOS BANOS — Tigers starter Cristian Garnica allowed two runs in the top of the first inning against crosstown rival Pacheco, then calmed down to finish with a complete-game victory. Delvonte Moore’s triple sparked a four-run second inning for LB.

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