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Bulldog softball off to 2-0 start in Nor-Cal Easter Classic
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Turlock softball might have been shorthanded at the start of the Nor-Cal Easter Classic on Thursday but the team never look fazed and now they are 2-0 in the Gold bracket.


The Bulldogs met Le Grand in the opening round and toppled them in an 11-0 mercy-rule win that ended after four innings.


“I have been there before with a team,” Turlock head coach Jill Ogden said about Le Grand.


Mariah Gonzalez pitched a four-inning complete game shutout and struck out seven.


Jessie Miranda, who was the team’s catcher in both games on Thursday due to Madi Mayol's absence, was 2 for 3. Haylee Morris was 2 for 3 and Kelly Weber was also 2 for 3 with three RBI. Gonzalez was also 2 for 3.


Turlock finished with 13 hits.


“We went easy as we could in that first game,” said Ogden.


The vastly improved Turlock team followed up with a win over Modesto's Enochs in a 3-1 decision to clinch their third consecutive victory.


“Our approach to hitting has become better and become more aggressive,” said Ogden. “A lot of hustle down the line making defensive tough plays and we hustled and we are playing shorthanded, kids are gone for break, so nice to see kids step up and get hits.”


The game was tied at 0-0 heading into the sixth inning of play when those hits finally came for the Bulldogs.


Miranda and Morris each reached on an error and Tyra Hampton, who has been swinging the bat well, hit an RBI fielder’s choice to drive in Miranda for the first run of the game.


Shelby Frutoz then got on and Jayden Mendoza smacked a two-run single to drive in two more to take a 3-0 lead.


Enochs went on to score one run in the bottom half of the sixth off Turlock starter Frutoz, who tossed a complete game.


Frutoz finished the game with 11 strikeouts and allowed just one earned run on two hits and two walks.


“Shelby pitched great but a lot of credit to Jessie Miranda who stepped up and played catcher and caught both games and she did a great job handling two excellent pitchers,” said Ogden.


Turlock goes to 7-3-1 overall.


Turlock will continue in the winner's bracket and take on Los Banos at the Tracy Sports Complex at 9:30 a.m. Friday.