The girls of Turlock and Pitman high’s softball teams haven’t quite experienced the success they expected at the beginning of the season. The Pride (2-2 CCC) and Bulldogs (0-4 CCC) currently sit in a three way tie for third and sixth place, respectively, in league.
On Wednesday Turlock fell to number one seed Merced High (3-0 CC), 11-1, and Pitman fell to number two seed Atwater High (2-1 CCC) 1-0, making the climb to the top of league standings that much more challenging for the local ladies.
“Merced’s a very good team,” Turlock’s head coach Jill Odgen said. “They’re strong, they hit the ball well, and they get on the plate often.”
The Bulldogs suffered through 12 errors during Wednesday’s matchup as their defense continued to struggle. After four league games, Turlock has given up 42 runs to its opponents, a surprise that has kept the team out of the win column so far.
“We thought our defense would be better, but we’re young with not a lot of varsity experience. The girls are still learning,” Odgen said. “I am pretty happy with our offense; we’ve been putting runs on the board.”
Pitman’s game against Atwater was as close as can be as the Falcons won the game with only one hit on the day.
“It was a heartbreaker,” Pitman’s head coach Cassie Sheppherd said. “But it’s like that sometimes at the varsity level when everyone is good at each position.”
The Pride completely avoided errors and put runners on base often. Unfortunately, Pitman couldn’t get around the bases entirely, leaving hits on base at the end of each inning. The Falcons lone run was the result of a walk in the second inning.
“Everything was working, it just wasn’t working at the right time,” Sheppherd said. “They did their jobs; it just didn’t go our way.”
Turlock traveled to Atwater on Friday seeking its first league win but the Falcons weren’t having it. Atwater defeated the Bulldogs 15-1. Turlock only managed two hits in the game with their lone run coming in the first inning.
“There’s definitely an issue but you got to make plays to build confidence,” Odgen said. “We need to focus during the game and be more aggressive on defense.”
Pitman also found itself on the road as it faced Golden Valley High. This time the Pride turned things around, taking advantage of a shoddy Cougar team with a 17-0 victory.
“Our hitting was on fire,” Sheppherd said.
The Pride was led by their standout pitcher Janessa Guevara who threw 12 strike outs in four innings. Freshman Alexis Mettler hit a homerun and sophomore Elizabeth Segars notched a triple in the must-win game for Pitman.
“They came in with the right mindset and pulled it off,” Sheppherd said.
The Pride now has the confidence they need as they prepare for another game against Merced on Monday before their Wednesday afternoon showdown with Buhach Colony High.
Turlock will regroup and continue to strengthen its mental game before next week’s games against Golden Valley on Wednesday and Buhach on Friday.