Dustin Caropreso said he’s about to find out what his softball team is made of.
Los Banos’ season sits on the brink after letting a Sac-Joaquin Section Deivision IV second-round game with second-seeded Casa Roble get away from it on Thursday night.
The Tigers fell behind early, but scratched and clawed their way back into the game going into the bottom of the sixth. A one-out throwing error opened the door for a big inning as the Rams plated five runs, putting away a 10-4 victory at the Arnaiz Softball Complex.
The loss dropped No. 3 LB into an elimination game today against top-seeded Bear River. The Bruins were upset by No. 4 Sierra on the other side of the bracket. The game is set for 5 p.m. with a second game to follow at 7 if the Tigers can win.
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“Now our backs are against the wall and we’ll see how we respond,” Caropreso said. “This is one I think we let get away. We battled all the way back to within one and then can’t make a throw. I truly feel that if we keep it a one-run game that we would have tied it up or taken the lead in the seventh inning, just because of who we had coming up.
“Now it’s win or go home the rest of the way.”
Caropreso and company had hoped to exact a measure of revenge against a Ram squad that eliminated them from the playoffs a year ago, but it was all Casa Roble (20-7) early.
With a steady wind blowing out to left center, the Rams took advantage of some balls left up in the zone, belting a barrage of doubles to build a 4-0 lead. Bailynn Meek (2 for 4, two RBI) and Jody Coda turned in back-to-back RBI doubles in the first to put CR up 2-0.
The Rams doubled that lead in the second, with a pair of two-out RBI doubles from Trina Coulston and Naomi Terrazas (3 for 4, two RBI).
LB (22-4) started chipping away at the lead in the third.
Emily LoneTree (2 for 3, double) got the Tigers on the board with a solo home run to dead center that kissed off of the top of the fence and kept going. Savannah Valenzuela tacked on another run in the fourth with a little squib pop up in the infield that eluded everyone.
Valenzuela (2 for 3, three RBI) made a little better contact in the sixth when she drilled a two-out, two-run double off of the left-field fence to pull the Tigers within 5-4.
“I thought we did a good job never giving up,” Valenzuela said. “We never really got our bats going, but we kept ourselves in the game.
“I was happy just to finally get a real hit. It felt like we were going to get it tied up after the double.”
The Tigers would never get any closer, however.
Terrazas squeezed home a run in the bottom of the sixth, and a one-out throwing error opened the door for CR to push across four more runs as it hit through the order in the sixth.
The loss came on the heels of a pretty dominant opening-round performance against Placer. LB took advantage of seven Hillmen errors, cruising to a 9-2 victory.
Kiara Azevedo allowed two runs seven hits to earn the win. Table setters Mel Silva (2 for 4, two doubles) and Haley Ballez combined for six runs in the victory and Ali Waltman (2 for 4) drove in three runs.