The return of Katrina Wilson to the Buhach Colony softball lineup was a welcomed sight for Thunder coach Michelle Osmer.
The junior shortstop decided to give it a go with a gimpy ankle and delivered with two doubles, two RBIs and a heads up base running play that led to a run as Buhach Colony defeated Atwater 4-0 on Thursday afternoon at Atwater High.
“We didn’t know if she would be able to play after she rolled her ankle last week,” Osmer said. “She came out today and said she wanted to try to do it.”
Wilson injured her ankle April 11
“The doctor said I had a grade-2 sprain,” Wilson said. “He said I could miss up to four weeks. It just depends on how I feel.”
Wilson said her parents didn’t want her to play, but left it up to her.
“I really, really wanted to play,” she said. “I felt I needed to play.”
Wilson made an impact early, doubling to start the top of the third inning off of Atwater starter Grace Santistevan.
Wilson was sacrificed to third where she decided to test her ankle.
Hunter Gibson hit a foul pop up that was caught by Falcons catcher Unique Espinoza. However, nobody was covering home and Wilson broke for the plate and scored.
“I didn’t want to push it because I was worried about my ankle,” Wilson said. “If there was anyone even close to the plate, I would have been like, ‘Nope, not going to happen.’
“I just saw nobody was home so I took off.”
It was the first of two mental mistakes by the Falcons that led to runs.
“We can’t have the mental mistakes when we’re not hitting,” said Atwater coach Lori Kale.
Wilson added an RBI double in the fifth inning to extend the lead to 2-0 and drove in the fourth run of the game in the seventh inning with a bunt.
“She felt she had to hit the ball out of the infield because she didn’t know how well she could run,” Osmer said. “Maybe she should hit like that more often.”
The Thunder added two big insurance runs in the seventh inning. The big blow came off the bat of Alli Clarot, who tripled in a run and eventually scored on the bunt by Wilson.
Meanwhile, the Falcons (7-3 Central California Conference) may want to take a mulligan this week after being shut out in back-to-back games to fall two games behind Merced in the conference standings.
“It’s been a rough week,” Kale said. “Ever since spring break we haven’t been hitting the ball. We’re in a team hitting slump.”
Buhach Colony ace Mary Castillo surrendered just four hits on her way to pitching the shutout.
The Thunder (7-3 CCC) are now tied with Atwater for second in the CCC.
Merced 18, Golden Valley 3
Bears freshman Madilyn Nickles hit two home runs and drove in six runs as Merced clobbered the Cougars in a game that was stopped after five innings because of the 10-run mercy rule.
The Bears (9-1 CCC) pounded out 22 hits, including three doubles by winning pitcher Chelsea Evans.
Merced leads the CCC by two games over Atwater and Buhach Colony.
“It looks good,” said Bears coach Bart McAfee. “We play Pitman next and they’ve been playing better. We have to stay focused and keep going the way we’re going. We swung the bats well today.”
Shayan Crutcher had two hits for the Cougars (2-8) and drove in all three runs.
Livingston 4, Pacheco 0
LOS BANOS — Brittany Sarnillo scored two goals and Dareny Barajas finished with three assists as the Wolves improved to 12-5-3 overall and 9-1 in the Western Athletic Conference.
Golden Valley 228, Atwater 254
ATWATER — Audun Montague shot a 41 to help lead the Cougars (8-2 CCC) to a win. Golden Valley trails Turlock by
Paul Ramos and Dillon Junsay also shot 41 for Atwater (0-8 CCC).
Merced 219, Pitman 228
Daniel Col (38) and Kodie Null (41) paced the Bears (5-3 CCC) to a win over the Pride at the Merced Golf & Country Club.
Atwater 7, Buhach Colony 2
ATWATER — Ricardo Fiero and Jake Spangler picked up singles wins to propel the Falcons (3-7 CCC) to a win over their crosstown rivals.