This past week was rough on Pacheco High softball with a three-game losing streak bringing the high-flying Panthers back to reality.
The Panthers started with a double-header sweep at the hands of Washington Union on Saturday (12-3 and 9-3) and then opened Western Athletic Conference play on Tuesday with an 11-1 loss to defending WAC champion Central Catholic.
Against Washington, the Panthers allowed 17 hits in the opener, then held the second game close until a four-run Washington Union fifth inning centered around a pair of doubles put the game out of reach. Pacheco got a couple back in the bottom of the inning courtesy of bunt singles by Yadira Castillo and Adrianna Tomasetti, with one scoring on a groundout and another on a passed ball, but went scoreless with four strikeouts in the last two innings.
Against Central Catholic, the Panthers mustered just three hits, with Castillo scoring Pacheco’s only run, while all nine of Central’s starters earned at least one hit.
Pacheco has struggled with injuries, which allowed several younger players to get into the lineup against Washington Union, but it didn’t help when outfielder Kayla Valdez came up limping at the end of the first game after going 2-for-4. Valdez was back for the CC game, along with Arianna Barton, who had suffered an ankle injury.
Los Banos, which suffered 9-1 and 10-0 losses to Buchanan on Saturday, opened league play with an 8-5 victory over Central Valley on Monday, a game rescheduled from the Friday previous. Pacheco hosts Ceres today, while Los Banos is at Patterson. Both games are at 4 p.m.