The Buhach Colony High softball team knew the importance of Tuesday’s matchup with
The Thunder would either leave the diamond tied for first in the Central California Conference or leave staring up at Atwater in the standings, two games behind.
The Buhach Colony dugout was alive from the start, cheering and yelling, and the Thunder rode that
“We wanted to have some control where we stood in regards to league,” said Buhach Colony coach Michelle Osmer, whose team improved to 6-5 overall and 4-1 in the CCC. “We wanted to go out and play Thunder ball. We’ve been hitting all year and we wanted to continue being aggressive at the plate.”
The Thunder faced Atwater senior Aliyah Ricks, who was coming off a one-hit shutout over Merced last week. Ricks struggled with her control and Buhach Colony capitalized.
Mary Castillo and Hunter Gibson did a great job of setting the table all game. The two hitters atop the Buhach Colony order drew a walk, singled and then pulled off a double steal to runners on third and second with no outs in the bottom of the first.
Dyonne Vargas plated Castillo with a groundout and Gibson beat a throw to the plate after a ground ball off the bat of Kerstin Smith to give the Thunder a 2-0 lead. Buhach Colony blew the game open with a five-run second inning. The big blow came on a two-run double by Jennifer Moreno that chased Ricks from the game.
“I saw the ball get into the hole and as I got to second I got to see the last girl score,” Moreno said. “To see the score go up to seven felt great.”
The Thunder pounded out 10 hits with Castillo and and Gibson combining to score five runs. Kerstin Smith went 2 for 4 with a double and two RBIs. Castillo also pitched a complete game, limiting the Falcons to just five hits and two runs.
Kaitlan Sheehan accounted for Atwater’s only offense with a two-run double in the fourth inning.
“Buhach did an awesome job of keeping the pressure on us, getting runners on base every inning,” said Atwater coach Lori Kale, whose team dropped into a three-way tie atop the CCC with Merced and Buhach Colony
“As a pitcher, it’s tough to come back in back-to-back big games. Aliyah just didn’t have it today and we made some defensive errors that should have been outs behind her.”
Merced 11, Golden Valley 1
Shelbee Ward led the Bears' 15-hit attack, going 3 or 4 with two runs as Merced crushed the Cougars to pull within a three-way tie atop the CCC with Atwater and Buhach Colony at 4-1.
Madilyn Nickles, Ruby Quiralte and Chelsea Evans all had two hits for the Bears.
Central Catholic 3, Los Banos 2
LOS BANOS -- Blake Escobar's two-run single highlighted the Raiders' three-run seventh inning.
The Tigers (10-2, 0-1 Western Athletic Conference) scored a run in the seventh and loaded the bases before John Mundt closed the door with a ground out.
CCC Midseason Tournament
ATWATER -- Teo Chiesa turned in the low individual round of the day with a 75 to lead Turlock (424) to the team title of the Central California Conference Midseason Tournament at Rancho Del Rey.
Daniel Col finished with a 79 to help Merced (459) finish second.
Merced 5, Turlock 4
The Bears' No. 3 doubles team of Taylor Vang and Zian Shabbir won the deciding match with a come-from-behind 4-6, 6-1, 7-5 victory over the Bulldogs' Nick Vardeh and Eilan Shahbaz as Merced (5-1 CCC) defeated Turlock for the first time since 2005.