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Defending champs face tough playoff route

SUN-STAR PHOTO BY MARCI STENBERG
Chowchilla baseball, Kyle Espinola
SUN-STAR PHOTO BY MARCI STENBERG Chowchilla baseball, Kyle Espinola Merced Sun-Star

DEFENDING CHAMPS FACE TOUGH PLAYOFF ROUTE

The playoff road won't be as easy for Chowchilla this time.

The defending Central Section Division IV champions enter the playoffs this year as the No. 7 seed and will host No. 10 Wasco in a first-round game today at 4:30 p.m.

It's a much different path than Chowchilla made last year as the top seed.

"We've had our challenges this year," said Chowchilla coach Kirk Delmas, whose team is 14-14. "We're coming off a good win last Friday (against Liberty). Hopefully that momentum will carry over to the playoffs."

The biggest blow this year was an arm injury to Michael York, which has only allowed the senior to pitch in a few games this year.

"We've also had our challenges defensively," Delmas said. "I feel like we've overcome those challenges and we've been playing well.

"It took a while to figure out who we are and how we're going to play."

Chowchilla defeated Wasco 9-6 in a game earlier this year.

Thomas Flanagan will get the start on the mound for Chowchilla today.

In another Division IV matchup, No. 8 Dos Palos will host No. 9 Kerman at 4 p.m.

Dos Palos (15-11) won the West Sierra League this season.

DP defeated Kerman 10-4 in a game earlier this year.

SOFTBALL

CHOWCHILLA 3, ROOSEVELT 0: At Chowchilla, Stephanie Pierini fired a no-hitter to lead the Chowchilla softball team to a 3-0 win over Roosevelt in the first round of the Central Section Division IV playoffs on Tuesday.

Anel Romo and Shelby Hubbard each had a pair of hits and drove in a run for Chowchilla.

Pierini struck out 10 batters.

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