With the Dos Palos High softball teams set to face much bigger schools last weekend at the Madera South Tournament, the Broncos goal heading into the tournament was just to compete.
Dos Palos did more than that.
The Broncos (8-2-1) went 5-0, including a 6-2 win over Golden West in the championship game to win the tournament.
“Going in I told the girls we were going to be playing pretty tough schools,” Dos Palos coach Irene Barrantes said. “I told them we’ve got to hit. Defensively, we’re pretty solid. We’ve struggled to hit some times. We hit in the tournament. We got hits from one through nine in the order.”
The Broncos outscored their opponents 46 to 6 in the tournament.
Dos Palos was led by sophomore ace Janessa Jasso, who had a big tournament with her bat and her arm. She went 5-0 in the circle for the Broncos, surrendering just four earned runs in 26 innings. She struck out 37 and gave up just 19 hits.
“She has just two losses on the year and they are both to Dinuba,” Barrantes said. “Every game her ball is moving more and more. She’s the real deal.”
Jasso also went 12-for-19 at the plate with three runs scored and eight RBIs in the five games.
The Broncos also got big tournaments from Teya Vincent and Payton Paz. Vincent went 6-for-16 at the plate with six runs and five RBIs. Vincent also hit a home run in the championship game against Golden West.
Paz was on fire at the plate, finishing the tournament 8-for-14 with a home run, seven runs and five RBIs.
“It was impressive,” Barrantes aid. “Are girls were fired up and pumped up. It was awesome. I think it’s a huge confidence boost that comes at a good time. We play Dinuba on Thursday and are only two losses are to them. It’s perfect timing.”
Buhach Colony swimmers win Merced County Championships
The Thunder swimmers had a big day in Los Banos on Saturday to edge out Turlock to win the Merced County Championships at the Pacheco High Pool.
Gwynne McBride led the way with victories in the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 26.42 seconds and 100 breaststroke with a time of 1:11.93.
The Thunder also got victories by Erin McBride (200 freestyle, 2:13.19), Luke Bird (200 freestyle, 1:57.15), Emma Seifert (500 freestyle, 5:59.67) and a one, two three finish in the boys 500 freestyle by Aaron Helfgott (5:25.24), Bird (5:30.66) and Will Seifert (5:43.78).
Buhach Colony also picked up wins in the girls 200 medley relay and 400 freestyle relay and in the boys 200 medley relay and 400 freestyle relay.
“We had a lot of top times,” said Buhach Colony coach A.J. Abril.
Abril just recently led the Central Zone youth water polo team to the USA Water Polo Olympic Development Program National Championship. One of the players on the team was Atwater’s Connor Norton.
Abril helped choose a team from 80-player tryout.
“It was the culmination of a lot of good kids who came together,” Abril said. “We had 80 tryout for 12 field positions. We could have easily taken two teams and been competitive in my opinion.”
The Central Zone team won the 16-team tournament, which featured teams from across the country. Abril’s squad won the championship game 7-4 from a team from Southern California.
“I was the lucky one that was selected by U.S. Water Polo to represent our area,” Abril said. “It was fun to watch the kids win a gold medal and become national champions. Is says a lot about the work our coaches are doing in the area.”
Former Golden Valley star Chris Randle hosting dinner fundraiser
Former Golden Valley football star Chris Randle is hosting the Achieve Dreams fundraiser dinner on Saturday, April 1 at the Merced County Fairgrounds’ Tioga Hall.
Individual tickets are $100 and all proceeds go to Merced Youth. There will be a cocktail hour with an open bar that starts at 6 p.m. The dinner is scheduled to start at 7.
Randle currently plays for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in the Canadian Football League.
For more information on tickets, contact Seneca Lopez at (209) 658-3913 or Nicole Lopez at (559) 260-9423.