Turlock and Pitman High met at the Stevinson Ranch Golf Club on Wednesday in the first athletic matchup between the rival schools this fall, but you wouldn’t necessarily know that from watching the girls on the course. Although the Bulldogs and Pride have developed a tradition of heated competition on the basketball court and football field, the golf course has proved to be cordial ground between former elementary and middle school classmates who focus more on the game rather than cross-town tension.
“We don’t care if it’s Pitman, Atwater, or Merced; we got to beat them all,” Turlock’s head coach Mary Krupka said.
A little over a week removed from a shocking loss to Merced High, which snapped a 15 year Central California Conference win streak, the Bulldogs had one thing in mind: get back on the championship track. Turlock did just that with a 237-281 performance against the Pride.
“I think they woke a sleeping giant,” Krupka said of Merced. “That loss was a good catalyst for the team.”
Seniors Hannah Gong, Kelsi Valenzuela, and Zara Lopez led the charge for Turlock finishing the day with scores of 44, 43, and 49, respectively. Pitman’s best performance of the day came from standout freshman Taylor Beckwith who shot a 45.
The Bulldogs and Pride will meet again on Tuesday, this time at the Turlock Country Club, for the 18 hole Central California Conference Mid-Season Tournament which will include all six of the league’s teams.
“All the girls are really working on their game,” Krupka said. “We want to lay the hammer down on Tuesday.”