Hilmar High entered the SJS Division V softball playoff tournament with high hopes after finishing second in the Trans Valley League. The Yellowjackets (11-8-1 overall) found themselves pitted against Marysville High (23-5 overall) in the first round of the tournament, and for the first couple of innings they played up to those hopes. Unfortunately, the Indians’ offense ignited in the third inning, ultimately pressuring Hilmar into defeat, 8-1.
“We knew Marysville was going to hit the ball well,” Hilmar’s head coach Justin Steelman said. “We wanted to slow them down, but in the third inning they broke it open and we couldn’t stop them.”
Hilmar and Marysville each scored a run in the first inning but the Indian defense took control of the game in the second and never let go. Ashten Welch manned the hill for Marysville, stifling Hilmar’s batters with her rise ball. By the end of the game Hilmar had only managed six hits and the Indians walked away with no errors.
“We knew it was coming but we didn’t make early adjustments,” Steelman said.
Marysville’s strong defense paved the way for an impressive offensive showing. The Indians scored six runs in the third inning and one more in the fifth. In total, Marysville ended with 10 hits against Hilmar’s Kasidi Barcelos.
“We didn’t score enough early to put the pressure on them,” Steelman said. “But they battled hard all year and I’m proud of the season.”