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Offense comes alive in Turlock softball’s dominant win over Pitman
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Turlock's Abbey Harrington pitches an entire game against Pitman during the crosstown rival game Thursday afternoon. Harrington threw 11 strikeouts and no walks the entire game. The Bulldogs won 8-2 (CANDY PADILLA/The Journal).

Turlock High School softball continued their successful season with an 8-2 victory over Pitman on Thursday. The Bulldogs were led by senior Abbey Harrington, who tossed a complete game while driving in multiple runs at the plate.

Harrington set the tone early for Turlock as she struck out four of the first six Pitman batters. Senior Alexandra Souza rode the momentum of the first few half innings to beat out a groundball to drive in senior Angie Valenzuela for the first run of the game in the bottom of the second.

After an uneventful top half of the inning, the Bulldogs exploded in the bottom of the third for four runs. Harrington helped her own cause on the mound by driving in two runs on a hard hit double. Valenzuela continued the rally by driving in Harrington with a two-run home run to deep left field.

“That was big. She hit that one way back for her first home run of her career in high school, so you know that was exciting,” said Turlock head coach Michael Souza.

Despite the long inning on defense, the Pride offense answered quickly in the top of the fifth. Junior Addie Mettler reached base on a single and scored on a two-run home run of Pitman’s own.

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Pitman's Kayleen Zayehmoureh scores a 2-run homerun during the game against Turlock Thursday afternoon. Zayehmoureh said her home run was in honor of her late father Carlos Perales, who recently passed away from cancer. Both the Pride and Bulldog players and coaches wore stickers in honor of her father on their helmets during the crosstown rivalry game (CANDY PADILLA/The Journal).

The longball was hit off the bat of senior Kayleen (KK) Zayehmoureh. She dedicated the big hit to her father, Carlos Perales, who recently passed away after a battle with cancer. Prior to first pitch, both teams held a moment of silence. The two squads also sported stickers on their helmets throughout the game in honor of Perales.

After the big inning for Pitman, the Bulldogs continued to swing hot bats, stringing together three more runs in the final three innings. Harrington also recovered nicely on the mound, proceeding to strike out four more batters for the remainder of the game. Harrington finished with game with 11 strikeouts.

“She just missed her spots and left the ball up to KK there for the home run, but you know she battled back,” Souza said. “…She threw really well so it's all on her. She's our horse.”

While Harrington was able to get out of each of the remaining innings without any runs surrendered, it did not come without threats from the Pitman offense. Pitman was able to get runners on base in each of the last three innings, but defense from sophomore catcher Hailey Bacon, who threw out three runners on the basepaths, kept the Pride at bay.

“Throwing three people out you don't really see that much in high school softball that much… That was really big for us,” Souza said.

“[Hailey] saves me like all the time, all my teammates do,” Harrington added. “When I'm not doing my best, they pick it up for me. They pick me up when I'm down and I say, ‘I got you. You got me.’”

The big win improved Turlock’s league record to 7-2, keeping them atop the CCAL standings. Meanwhile, Pitman dropped to 3-5 against CCAL opponents on the season. The Bulldogs will look for their fifth straight win against the Gregori Jaguars on Tuesday while Pitman will try to get back into the win column that same day against the Enochs Eagles.