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Bulldogs top Pride in mercy-rule victory
Turlock softball 2
Turlock starting pitcher Shelby Frutoz (left) celebrates with her infield after defeating Pitman 11-1 on Friday. - photo by EDDIE RUIZ / The Journal

For the first time in over a decade, the Turlock varsity softball team defeated Pitman in a mercy-rule decision after an 11-1 final on Friday.

“We knew we had been playing well and losing a lot of close games, played Merced and Buhach tough and we knew we had it in us,” said Turlock head coach Jill Ogden. “I mean our goal is to win and we expected a close game.”

The game, however, was not as close as everybody anticipated.

Instead, Pitman imploded, as they have sporadically throughout the season, committing six errors for the game and coming away with only two hits off Turlock starter Shelby Frutoz.

Frutoz was nearly untouchable with her changeup from start to finish.

The freshman went all five innings and allowed just one run on two hits, walked two and struck out eight.

“Shelby did a great job pitching today as well,” said Ogden. “And our bats helped and backed her up. We just haven’t had the runs and it was nice to play with the lead instead of having to stress over every batter or at-bat.”

All nine of the Bulldog hitters managed to get at least a hit off Pitman starter Denae Finney.

Jessie Miranda, Tyra Hampton, Sophie Mayol, Madi Mayol, Kelly Weber, Mariah Gonzalez, Haylee Morris, Faith Pattee and Frutoz each tallied at least a hit for the Bulldogs.

Pitman’s Alanah Laupua and Michelle Robinson had the Pride’s only hits of the game.

“I have been trying to explain to the girls that the last few weeks there are four teams battling for that last playoff spot in third place,” said Pitman head coach Joe Lewis. “All teams have the capability to beat each other; we just have to play better.”

Pitman has now lost four of its last five league contests.

“The errors have really cost us,” said Lewis. “We were coming off a game with no errors too.”

Turlock took advantage of three of Pitman’s errors in the second inning, when Turlock went on to score eight runs in that inning alone.

The Bulldogs batted through their lineup and Frutoz highlighted the inning with a three-run double that made the score 8-1 before taking a 9-1 lead by the end of the inning.

“We've been struggling a little bit with the bats but we have faced really good pitching as well,” said Ogden. “At practice, the day before the game, we worked hard on being aggressive at the plate and competing, and came out really ready to play.”

Turlock went on to score two more runs in the bottom half of the fourth, securing a 10-run lead by the fifth inning.

Frutoz retired eight of the final 10 batters faced and ended the game on a deadly changeup pitch that left Morgan Aguiniga swinging and missing for the final out.

Turlock improves to 3-7 in the CCC and Pitman is now tied with the same record at 3-7.

“Golden Valley is ahead of us by a game but we knew we really needed to get to work and help ourselves, starting with this game and now we have a full round of league left,” Ogden added. “But we still need to play well and put the ball in play.”

“I knew these crosstown rivalries would always be tough and they just busted loose after a couple walks and a few errors, it opened up the door for them,” Lewis added.

Turlock will host Buhach Colony at 4 p.m. Wednesday.

Pitman’s next game will be on the road at Merced at 4 p.m. Friday.