Merced edges Golden Valley

MERCED -- Lindsi Cosyns stood on third base ready for anything. A passed ball. A wild pitch. The crack of the bat.

The Merced High senior knew a potential victory was just 60 feet away.

"You have to be ready to go on anything," Cosyns said. "As soon as I saw the ball get away, I thought, 'this is it.' "

Gabi Espinosa's pitch glanced off the glove of catcher Kaycee Gonzales, rolling just far enough for Cosyns to beat the throw to the plate in the top of the seventh as Merced beat crosstown rival Golden Valley 2-1 on Thursday.

It was a day in which Cosyns used her bat, arm and legs to give Merced a victory.

Cosyns gave Merced a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning with an RBI-single to score Shay Pacheco.

Cosyns also pitched well, taking a no-hitter into the sixth inning and eventually settling for a two-hit victory.

"It feels really good to get the 'W,' " Cosyns said. "We needed this. Our team deserved it."

Early on, it looked like one run was all Cosyns would need.

The right-hander mixed up her speeds and used her defense as she quickly worked her way up and down the GV lineup.

Golden Valley only had one runner reach second base through the first five innings.

"We just want her to keep throwing the ball up there and we'll make the plays," said Merced coach Bart McAfee, whose team improved to 1-1 in the Central California Conference and 3-8 overall. "We have a good defensive team, we've just been unfortunate this year."

Merced shortstop Ashley Heath-Smith sparkled on defense and left fielder Yazmine Benevidez made a diving catch to end the game.

The GV offense finally broke up Cosyn's no-hit bid when Gonzales hit a single up the middle to score Tori Johnson with one out in the bottom of the sixth inning.

Amanda Rabith followed with a single and GV quickly had runners on second and third with just one out and the score tied at 1-1.

Cosyns got out of the jam with back-to-back strikeouts, which were her first punchouts of the game, and set up Merced's winning rally in the top of the seventh.

"If we make no errors, it's probably a 1-0 game," said GV coach Sam Croninger, whose team fell to 1-1 in the CCC. "Merced did a good job of taking advantage of the mistakes we made."