The Hilmar Yellowjackets knocked off No. 1 ranked Calaveras by a score of 8-0 to win the Division V CIF Sac-Joaquin Section championship on Saturday. It is the first section championship in the history of Hilmar softball.
“It’s an amazing feeling,” said head coach Paul Willis. “I’m so proud of these ladies who have worked so hard and who’ve battled all year. They’ve earned it today and I’m just so happy for them.”
The game was an all out pitchers duel for the first three innings between Hilmar’s Jenna Gomes and Calaveras’ Macy Villegas as both offenses were held scoreless.
In the top of the fourth inning, the Yellowjackets were able to score twice due to an RBI infield single by Emily Cogswell and an RBI hit by Demi Silva. The 2-0 lead would stand until the sixth inning, when the Hilmar offense came alive to extend the lead to 8-0.
The big sixth inning kicked off with Cogswell working a walk, Demi Silva getting her second consecutive hit and Emily Bare singling to load up the bases. With the bases jammed, Nicole Teixeira worked a walk to make it a 3-0 ballgame. Jayme Soares immediately followed up with an RBI single to make it 4-0. Destiny Denys was the next batter up for the Yellowjackets and hit an RBI single of her own to make it 5-0. With the bases still loaded, Madison Johnston worked a base on balls to extend the lead to 6-0. The very next batter, Camryn Mattos, kept the line moving as she was hit by a pitch to make it 7-0. The huge inning was capped off with an eighth run scoring on a hit ball by Abigail Blevins.
Cogswell explained that playing in such a big game brought some nerves, but the team came together to stick with the fundamentals and basics.
“I was a little nervous going up to the plate but I just knew what I had to do and did it,” Cogswell explained.
With an 8 run cushion, Gomes continued to dominate on the mound and kept Calaveras scoreless for the remainder of the game.
“Jenna pitched an incredible game and an incredible playoffs,” said Willis. “She gave up zero runs against a really good team. I’m just so proud of her and I can’t say enough about her. As I’ve said before, she has ice water in her veins, nothing seems to faze her.”
Gomes credited her teammates and their defense for her impressive statline. She also spoke about being the first softball section champions in the school’s history.
“It feels so awesome. It’s the best feeling ever to be the first ones in history and knowing that we were the ones to do it,” Gomes said.
“It’s so surreal,” Cogswell added. “We just worked so hard during the season and it’s paid off.”
The Yellowjackets will now advance to the Northern California Regional playoffs. The regional bracket is expected to be released on Sunday with the first round kicking off on May 31.