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Gustine Reds too hot for Coyotes
Denair softball
Denair’s Makayla Dayton (22) stands at first base, ready to catch a ball coming her way during the Coyotes’ SAL loss to Gustine on Tuesday (ALEX RAMIREZ/ The Journal).

Any team can make a comeback. The Denair Coyotes softball witnessed that on Tuesday. Despite a promising start, the Denair High School softball team couldn’t hold off a comeback from the Gustine High School Reds, ultimately falling 9-7 in Tuesday’s SAL league matchup.

The Coyotes fall to 3-7 overall, 1-4 in league, and rank 6th in the SAL league. Reds earned their first win against the Coyotes, progressing their league record to 1-4. The Coyotes now trail behind Ripon Christian and head coach Andy Dayton witnessed his team slowly watch their lead slip away.

"We started to wake up around the fifth inning,” said Dayton. “We kind of went flat into the third and fourth innings and started to slow down a little bit."

Denair jumped out to an early lead and were up 6-2 by top of the fifth. But they weren’t able to hold on to the momentum. The Coyotes starting senior pitcher, Cadence Baldwin (15), was relieved, and Makayla Dayton (22) stepped in to finish the ballgame.

“Up until the switch, it was getting a little rough because there were a couple walks and then a couple hit batters, but I felt really confident with the girls behind me because they were doing so well,” said Baldwin.

Walks were hindering the Coyotes from taming the Reds. They were beginning to flame as the Reds’ Shandel Aguilera (9), in bottom of the fifth, notched two runs batted in. The Reds officially tipped their hats to a lead over the Coyotes, 9-6.

“Most of us kept our heads up and we still fought through the end and we never really brought our heads down,” said Mikayla Dayton.

The remainder of the innings became a standoff. Mikayla Dayton (22) kept the Reds at bay, closing out the game at a 9-7 end score.

This week the Coyotes have some more business to take care of. They will host their SAL league opponents the Ripon Christian Knights at 4 p.m. on Thursday. Then on Friday, the Coyotes will stay home again for a non-league matchup against Stone Ridge Christian High School, at 4 p.m.