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Softball rivalry highlights Pitman, Turlock pitchers
Pitman High hurler Janessa Guevara was part of a pitching duel with Turlock High’s Morgan Riddick in the annual rivalry game between the two schools. - photo by CHHUN SUN / The Journal
By definition, a pitchers’ duel is a low-scoring affair with the starting pitchers on both sides allowing no more than a run or two. The term was in full display at the Turlock High softball field, where crosstown rivals Pitman and Turlock met for the first time this season. If it weren’t for some clever base-running and key hits by the Bulldogs, Thursday afternoon’s showdown might still be taking place right now.
Yeah, the pitching was that good.
But the game did conclude, with Turlock surviving 1-0.
The highlight was the pitching talents of Turlock senior Morgan Riddick (104 pitches, 11 strikeouts and three hits) and Pitman sophomore Janessa Guevara (78 pitches, 10 strikeouts and three hits). Both were relentless all afternoon, providing dozens of fans an impressive pitching duel in Central California Conference action.
That’s why Riddick, a Cal State Stanislaus signee, was relieved after the game.
“Our defense has been doing pretty good lately,” she said. “With them behind me, I felt pretty good.”
In other words, the Bulldogs (9-8-1, 4-2 CCC) were more than happy to take any runs whenever possible. Their lone score happened in the bottom of the second inning, when Riddick walked on her at-bat. A hard single up the middle by Emily Peichoto sent her teammate to third, though Riddick was eventually called out after Pitman’s Guevara picked up a hit near home plate and threw it to freshman teammate Sarah Ward just in time for the out.
The drama wasn’t over, though. Karliegh Perkins’ only hit was an RBI single that sent in Peichoto from second — the only score of the day. From then on, it was mostly, again, a pitchers’ duel.
Though the Pride fell to an 0-4 league record, first-year coach Cassie Sheppherd said her team earned a consolation prize of sort against one of the CCC’s best. The day before, Pitman lost 1-0 to Buhach Colony High, the defending league champion. That game was also a pitchers’ duel, as Guevara came away with nine strikeouts.
“In every loss we had during the season,” Sheppherd said, “we’ve had a moral victory. Today, I don’t think a lot of people expected to see much out of this game, but this was a one-zero game, and that doesn’t happen often. So I’m pretty happy with their performance.”
On Thursday, Guevara said she wasn’t at her best because of a groin injury. If it wasn’t for that, she said, “I would have been on my A game ... We’ve shown we can play with the best teams, we just need to hit more.”
The Pride loaded the bases in the top of the second with two outs before Riddick ended the inning with a strikeout. Riddick said she felt confident in the circle with the Turlock defense behind her but knew that the Bulldogs survived a close one.
“One run is never enough,” she said.
To contact Chhun Sun, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2041.