It didn’t have the feeling of a playoff-clinching victory — in fact, it reeked more of batting practice.
But the Tracy High softball team will take it: a 13-0 win over Chavez in five innings for the team’s 21st win of the year and eighth in league, and a guaranteed berth in the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs.
“We pretty much just work on batting practice when we play Chavez,” admitted sophomore pitcher Morgan Hayes, who went 2-for-4, allowed only two hits and struck out 12 in five innings of work.
She has a point, as Katie Stutz went 3-for-3 with a double, and Nikki Moreno, Melissa Turney and Samantha Whisman added home runs, Whisman’s second of the week. Lani McGee knocked in a pair of runs, Ashley Freitas knocked a hit, and Jenni Holtz added a hit to improve to 2-for-2 on the year.
Tracy coach Greg Smith’s squad can seal its second-straight San Joaquin Athletic Association title with a win Tuesday in Lodi over the second-place Flames.
(S) Tracy 24, Chavez 0
At the Tracy Softball Complex, yet another hitting clinic saw the Bullpups (7-1 SJAA, 14-2-2 overall) get three hits, a triple and five RBIs from Stephanie Leles, and a pair of hits from Sam Balanon and Sam Vandagriff. Haley Delgado and Lindsay Kinakin both knocked in a pair of runs. Stephanie Fisher struck out six.
Tracy, which will face Lodi on Tuesday for the sophomore title, batted around in each inning.
West 14, McNair 0 (5 innings)
Senior Brittney Astle held the Eagles (0-8 TCAL) to two hits in five innings while striking out six for West (6-2 TCAL, 17-6) as the Wolf Pack moved into sole possession of second place in TCAL, one game ahead of Tokay.
“They have improved since the last time we played them,” said West coach Steve Anastasio of McNair.
Stephanie Tornio was 1-for-2 with a double, and Brittney Astle was 2-for-3 with four RBIs. Caitlyn Girard rapped two doubles and drove in two runs, and Catrina Nicolaysen went 1-for-1 with a two-run double.
The Wolf Pack can qualify for the CIF Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs with a win on Tuesday — the team’s senior day. West hosts the Tigers, 6-2 losers to St. Mary’s, on Thursday, at 3:30 p.m.
“All it is is one game,” Anastasio said. “We’ve got to go out there and play the best we can.”
(S) West 31, McNair 2 (5 innings)
The Wolf Pack (6-2 TCAL, 17-7) scored 64 runs in their two games against the Eagles, the latest win powered by 27 walks.
Chelsea Moniz, Tracy Wentz and Lauren Kuks held the Eagles to two runs on four hits, and Megan Anastasio went 2-for-3 with four RBIs. Stephanie Dyer went 2-for-2 with two RBIs, and Moniz added a pair of RBIs. Jessica Finley went 1-for-1 with two RBIs.
The Wolf Pack host Tokay on Tuesday.
Brookside Christian 7, Millennium 0
While the Millennium Falcons (6-9) endured a no-hitter at the hands of Brookside to wrap up their inaugural varsity season, both players and coaches pointed to bright spots in 2007 and the future ahead.
“I thought it went really well,” said junior pitcher Mary Sue Savage, who struck out 13 Brookside batters. “We’ve improved so much from our first game to our last.”
The Falcons had few players returning from last year and many players new to softball entirely, so the learning curve was steep — but it’s a start.
“All told, it was a lot of inexperience that cost us,” Millennium coach Ray Eakin said. “But it’ll only get better next year. … I have high expectations for this program.”
In the fall, when the school’s first class of seniors strolls through the doors, the Falcons will open play in the Harvest Christian League.
(F) Tracy 16, Lodi 2
The Bullpuppies improved to 6-0 in league play with a resounding victory at home Thursday, scoring eight runs in the second and five in the final inning.
Jake Finney went five innings, striking out one, and Ricky Diaz struck out five over two innings of work and went 3-for-5 from the plate with a double and three RBIs. Robert Emerson hit a two-run triple, Robbie Jackman knocked in four runs, and Brandon Josey had two hits for Tracy, which will play at Lincoln at 3:30 p.m. Monday.
(F) West 11, Tokay 7
The Wolf Pack (3-3 TCAL) put Monday’s tough loss behind them with an 11-hit outburst Thursday at West High, overcoming 14 walks allowed.
Marcus Pedroza came in to pitch during the third inning and allowed only two hits and one run over four frames, striking out six, and Jesse Hernandez struck out the side in the seventh.
Kevin Walker knocked two doubles and Taylor Kruger one, as both contributed three hits. Jeff Koury went 2-for-3, and Griffin Dias and Dexter Alcala both added hits for West, which faces St. Mary’s twice next week. Monday’s game is at West High.
To reach Christopher H. Roberts, call 830-4267 or e-mail email@example.com.