LOS BANOS -- The dismal record is deceiving.
Los Banos came into Thursday's game against Atwater with a 2-9 record.
The bulk of the losses coming against a brutal non-conference schedule which includes four games against Central Section powers Clovis and Buchanan.
Charlie Pikas' girls may have turned the corner.
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Kelsie Monroe held Atwater to just four hits as Los Banos picked up a 2-0 win on Thursday afternoon at Los Banos High.
"We're headed in the right direction," said Pikas, whose team improved to 2-2 in the Central California Conference.
"We faced a preseason schedule that was as tough as anybody.
"We suffered our lumps early and hopefully now we're starting to get it going."
Monroe more than held her own against one of the top offenses in the CCC.
The sophomore right-hander took advantage of a wide strikezone.
Monroe finished with seven strikeouts and walked only one hitter.
"She didn't hurt herself," said Atwater coach Joe Leonardo, whose team dropped to 1-2 in the CCC.
"She did a great job of keeping the ball outside."
The only thorn in Monroe's side was Atwater pitcher Olivia Segiura, who went 3 for 4 with a triple.
The leadoff hitter did her job of getting on base. She worked her way into scoring position all three times she reached base. However, the middle of the order couldn't get her home.
"We got (Segiura) on second with one out and we couldn't get her in with our No. 3 and 4 hitters," Leonardo said.
"That hurts. That's something we've done a good job of this year. Today was just an off day."
Meanwhile, Los Banos came up with the big hits to push a couple runs across the plate.
Brooke Monroe gave LB the early lead with an RBI double in the first inning.
Taylor Mendez and Xitlalli Bobadilla both doubled in the third inning to help extend the lead to 2-0.
"We seem to get behind early in games," Pikas said. "I think the last three games, we've given up runs in the first inning.
"It makes a difference when we can get ahead."
Bobadilla and Kiley Mendez each had two hits for Los Banos.
"That was the first team to get two earned runs off of (Segiura) in a long time," Leonardo said.
"They earned those two runs, too."
Shawn Jansen is a Sun-Star sports reporter. He can be reached at 385-2462 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.