By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Sixth inning crumble costs Hilmar softball
Hilmar softball 3
Pitcher Miranda Gray of Hilmar gets ready to launch a throw during the fourth inning of Friday's game. Gray finished the game with five innings pitched and allowed only two earned runs. - photo by EDDIE RUIZ / The Journal

Four consecutive errors in the sixth inning gave the Hilmar High varsity softball team its second straight Trans Valley League loss on Friday afternoon as Riverbank played the spoilers in a 3-8 loss.


“We have been working hard to get the team to gel back together since we have lost some key players this week for various reasons,” said Hilmar head coach Kara Hagen's. “We are trying to adjust with a young team, motivate any way we could to get it all going.”


This proved devastating for the 'Jackets which finished the game with seven errors.


Things stayed even in the first inning and in the second it got interesting.


After Riverbank scored in the top of the second, the Yellow jackets' Marta Mitchell scored on a pass ball pickoff attempt and the score remained tied until the start of the fifth.


Hilmar starting pitcher Miranda Gray and Riverbank's Briana Allen gave the crowd a pitchers' duel, at least for the first five innings, as the stalemate stayed in tack even after the Bruins went up 3-1 at the top of the fifth.


Gray allowed only two earned runs while Allen gave up five hits and walked four.


“I thought Gray pitched well and both of our pitchers did great, so there was some positives there,” Hagen's said.


Katelyn Canella, Hannah Pearce and Mitchell were the only players to score for Hilmar, which tallied only five hits for the game.


And after tying the game at 3-3 in the fifth this set up a sixth inning debacle that cost the team a chance for the win.


It was a combination of four errors which occurred in the sixth inning that put the game well out of reach and gave the Bruins of Riverbank a comfortable 8-3 lead with only three outs remaining.


“With having a young team it seems like you have one error and they can't get past it and so another happens and then another and it becomes a domino effect,” said Hagen's. “With time and maturity we will grow and it stops happening.”


Hilmar's next game will be at Ripon High against the Indians at 4 p.m. Wednesday.