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Pride earns bragging rights in crosstown season finale
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Freshman standout Mariah Gonzalez started the game and pitched four innings for the Bulldogs on Tuesday. - photo by EDDIE RUIZ / The Journal

With no playoff implications, Pitman High’s softball team still came out strong in the season finale against their crosstown rivals, Turlock High, on Tuesday, and won 12-2.

“You know we have to do what we do and that is take one game at a time,” Pitman head coach Cassie Sheppherd said. "They did their job like they usually do, but now it’s over; sort of bitter sweet, we were hoping to make the playoffs one last time, but that’s alright.”

Pitman won six of its final eight games to end the regular season, but this was not enough as the Pride lost two of their last five games to Golden Valley and Merced High in crucial Central California Conference matchups.

“We had to win that last game against Golden Valley to make the playoffs, so losing that game was the end for us,” Sheppherd said. “But you know, that was a strange day and things didn’t really go our way, multiple times unfortunately. Now we look forward to next year.”

“I think we came out kind of flat, not too much energy and then they [Pitman] got a couple runs and we were unable to do anything,” Turlock High head coach Jill Ogden said. “At one point it was 1-0 in the third or fourth and they did a good job, put some runs on the board.”

In the bottom of the third, Sarah Ward, playing in her final game as a senior, cracked a two-run homer off Turlock’s Mariah Gonzalez to break the ball game open.

Starting pitcher Alexis Mettler picked up her 11th win of the year as she tossed a complete game and allowed only two runs. Mettler, only a sophomore, also added two hits for the game, including a three-run homerun in the seventh inning, scored two runs and added four RBIs for the game.

“I am proud of these girls, they did a great job today especially after losing to Golden Valley,” Sheppherd said. “That was a really tough loss for them and they really picked it up and had their game today; they came out swinging and performed very well today and it paid off.”

The Pride end their season in fourth place in the conference at (15-12 overall, 8-7 CCC), with Turlock finishing in sixth place (6-21 overall, 1-14 CCC).

"We didn’t win a lot of games this year but overall we're really pleased with the season and we made some strides from the past few years and we feel like we have a good young group going forward in the future,” said Ogden.