ATWATER - Clay Cozzitorto just had one more inning left to pitch. He had shut out his opponents all afternoon, and he was mentally prepared to face them again. But there was something he wasn't ready for.
The goal is always to beat Turlock High. But for the Pitman High softball team, some years are just wishful thinking.
With one of their best pitchers on the mound, the Turlock High baseball team exacted revenge over Merced High on Wednesday afternoon in Merced. Sophomore Nick Voumard pitched three scoreless innings and the Bulldogs won 6-0 to regain control of the Central California Conference.
This is how much Turlock High junior Alexia Moreno and Santa Fe High's Tamara Tillman wanted a national wrestling title: In the second round of their 121-pound final match of the USAW Girls Folkstyle National Tournament in Oklahoma City, Okla., last weekend, the two bumped heads in an attempt to gain a shot at the same exact time.
It was an oh-so ordinary day for the Turlock High track and field athletes on Monday afternoon at Joe Debely Stadium. Hurdlers and jumpers loosened their limbs on an artificial turf field. Runners warmed up on an all-weather track. Pole vaulters battled a slight wind down a marked runway before extending skyward.
Swimming might be one of the tougher spring sports. It's not just because of the amount of pain a swimmer puts himself or herself through by swimming lap after lap. In this sport, there aren't too many days off.
It wasn't like Turlock High baseball didn't have opportunities.
Asked to recount her version of the goal that gave her Pitman High girls soccer team its first win over crosstown nemesis Turlock High in six years, senior forward Hannah Verschelden could not provide all the details. All she remembered was she wanted to lace the ball with some power and kick it away from the goalkeeper.
It's still early in the track and field season, but athletes from Pitman, Turlock, Turlock Christian, Denair and Hilmar high schools have already been challenged. It's not just all the time and effort they have to put in that will help them become faster or stronger. It's the weather.
Here's the scoop on this season's softball teams.
To say the least, there will be some shakeups in high school girls soccer this season.
In the 27th Atch Pedretti Tournament last week, the Turlock High baseball team outscored opponents 34-3. That's just one example of how dominant the Bulldogs have been.
The 38th annual Central California Lions All-Star Football Game will once again have representation from the Turlock area. The event will be held June 18 at the University of Pacific's Stagg Memorial Stadium in Stockton.
The scoring output wasn't the same as the previous night's, but the Turlock High baseball team's dominant ways did not change.
Pitman High's Brandon Lewis pitched a no-hitter with 10 strikeouts to carry the Pride to an 11-0 win in five innings over Modesto High on Friday afternoon in the consolation bracket of the 27th Atch Pedretti Tournament. Lewis, Clay Cozzitorto and Adam Nascimento all finished with two RBIs apiece, helping Pitman jump out to a 5-0 lead in the first inning. The Pride play again today at 1:30 p.m. at Pitman High for the consolation championship.
Denair High tennis head coach Bill Weber has his sights set on a long and prosperous future the Coyote program and he is off to a good start. After Friday's Southern Athletic League tournament, Denair can boast two league winners in the mixed doubles and the boys singles brackets.
Turlock High won the final game of its three-game series with rival Pitman High Friday afternoon, beating the Pride 8-3 after falling 0-7 on Tuesday and 5-6 on Thursday. But while Pitman walked away from Turlock's home field in the loser's column on Friday, its boys exited the week as winners, at least partially, of the Central California Conference with only one win needed to claim the outright championship.
A local face will be taking over the Denair High School football head coaching duties.
Hilmar High's Jacob Ahid has been a small-town, valley boy all his life. He's developed as a baseball player from child to adolescent, but for the next step in his baseball career Ahid will be leaving Hilmar and heading to Seaside where he will become the newest addition to California State University, Monterey Bay.
The Hilmar High boys varsity golf team failed to pick up a Trans Valley League championship this past Monday at La Contenta Golf Course.
Pitman, which has been neck and neck with Merced all season long, placed second for both the girls and boys in the Central California Conference Championship meet that took place at Golden Valley High on Saturday to finish just behind Merced in the CCC.
Turlock High's Ryan Asai went into Tuesday's Central California Conference singles tournament with high hopes. The Bulldog boasted an undefeated record heading into the tournament, but met his match in Merced's Juan Ciudad in the semifinal round.
The Turlock High boys varsity golf team has won its fourth Central California Conference tournament in the last five years after edging out Pitman and Buhach on Monday at the Merced Country Club.
It was a defensive deadlock for the majority of Tuesday's cross-town showdown between Turlock and Pitman High. After four innings of solid pitching from the Bulldogs' Nick Avila and Pride's Nick Jones, the scoreboard read 0-0 and everyone was left questioning, who would falter first?
After three years of getting dominated by Merced (10-2), the Pitman High (9-3) varsity softball team finally made history on Friday afternoon, topping the Bears at home, 3-2, and snapping an eight game losing streak that dated back to the 2012 season.
The Turlock Christian varsity softball team has now boasted back-to-back league wins after beating Stone Ridge Christian on Friday, 16-5.
The Turlock High (8-2) varsity baseball team has quietly yet steadily been creeping and stalling just behind or barely ahead of Pitman High for the top spot in the Central California Conference for most the year.
Friday marked the third time this season that both Delhi and Denair High met for one final showdown on the tennis courts as the battle for second place in the Southern Athletic League continued heading into the final two matches.
League championships for boys golf will be held on Monday for schools across the area. These tournaments are typically a place for teams to put in one final, solid performance in the hopes of qualifying for Divisionals as a team, but for Turlock and Hilmar High, its respective tournaments will instead be a formality as its boys have a ticket to Divisionals all but in the bag.
Alyssa Stockton has experienced her fair share of success during her 11 years in a softball uniform, but her biggest achievement was undoubtedly reached on Friday when she signed her letter of intent for California State University, Bakersfield where she will become one of the Roadrunners' pitchers.
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