Everything's coming together.
That's the sentiment that was expressed during Turlock Christian High's 11-2 softball rout of Denair High in the Southern League finale on Tuesday afternoon at Pedretti Park, where the Eagles did not overlook their task at hand. To end the game, center fielder Angie Martin made a nice sliding catch for the final out.
It was a sweet ending after a slow start.
When the season began March 12, the Eagles had just gotten everyone in a uniform two practices earlier. A handful of the players had just concluded a historic run in the girls basketball season, punctuated by a trip to Arco Arena in Sacramento to play for a Sac-Joaquin Section title. In other words, those players weren't in softball shape in the season opener … and it showed against Delhi High, when they lost 9-8.
But it's a different story now.
The Eagles (9-7 Southern League) are heading to the playoffs, which starts May 20, for first time since joining their current league three seasons ago. The reason for their current success? It was all on display against Denair, which endured a long season.
Turlock Christian got on base immediately and capitalized, scoring three runs at the bottom of the first inning. It was all possible due to timely hits and sneaky base-running.
“When you score three runs that early,” Eagles coach Randy Hopkins said, “it makes the other team die a little bit. And it gives you confidence.”
Turlock Christian put up two runs in the second, two in the fourth, three in the fifth and finished off the Coyotes with a run in the sixth. Stephanie Huber, also the hurler, went 3-for-5 with four RBIs, Tara Lafollette hit 2-for-3 with an RBI and Martinez, who made that nice final out, finished 3-for-3 with four RBIs and a triple.
It overshadowed Denair's day, which saw Wendy Makin go 1-for-3 with a double. The Coyotes scored one in the fourth and another in the seventh.
For the Eagles, who are sitting in the No. 2 position in the Southern League, they have more than a week to prepare for the playoffs. And Hopkins believes they'll be ready, since they've come together after a slow start.
To contact Chhun Sun, e-mail email@example.com or call 634-9141 ext. 2041.