By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Mercy rule win for Hilmar softball over Mountain House
Hilmar 1
Cheyann Hughes of Hilmar shakes hands with teammate Madison Steelman during Tuesdays 14-4 mercy-rule win over Mountain House. - photo by EDDIE RUIZ/The Journal

Tuesday afternoon marked the first game played in nearly two weeks for Hilmar High varsity softball when they hosted Mountain House and dominated the field.

It was only their second Trans Valley League contest of the year after rain postponed multiple games.

Hilmar’s McKenzie Martinez became the unsung hero after she ended the game in the bottom of the fifth, drilling an RBI hit to center field for the walk-off mercy-rule win, 14-4.

“We haven’t had a game in almost a week and a half, the last game was Hughson and we had rain outs and stuff like that,” said Hilmar head coach Paul Willis. “We knew we were going to be a little rusty because we haven’t played what seems like forever.”

The rust was there, but it didn’t stop the Yellowjackets from winning.

 “The rustiness showed since we made some defensive errors, but what was good is that we hit the ball early and made some mistakes and capitalized on that,” said Willis.

Hilmar led 7-1 after the third inning.

Starting pitcher Madison Aguiniga tossed all five innings and managed to fend off the MH attacks.

Both sides exchanged runs in the next inning as Hilmar led 9-4 by the start of the bottom of the fifth.

“They scored early, their third basemen is very special. We responded and scored three runs so we kept the pressure on them,” said Willis. “They kept coming back and we just need to be sharper and I think a lot of it was rust.”

Coach Willis then told his team, “let’s get five runs and finish it now.”

Knowing that an additional five runs would secure the mercy-rule win, the offense went to work.

One by one, they stepped up to the plate and performed.

After a 13-4 score and one out on the board, senior Martinez stepped up to the plate.

She levelled the ball to center field and drove in the game-winning run.

Hilmar’s record is currently 6-4 overall and 1-1 in TVL play.

“I am happy we came out with the win,” said Willis. “Last inning, we scored five and were able to 10-run rule them which is nice because soon as you get in the game nothing stranger can happen which is the best way to say it, so hopefully we get some confidence since we have Escalon on Thursday.”

Hilmar will host Escalon at 4 p.m. Thursday.

“We have a break next week and will be going to the Tracy Tournament next Thursday and Saturday,” Willis added. “Tougher competition and we will have games to make up, will have three games in a week and it will be a grind and hopefully we get some sun.”