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Turlock softball falls to defending league champ
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The Turlock High softball team hosted the Central California Conference defending champion Buhach Colony High on Tuesday in what was a showcase of dominant pitching. The game ended in extra innings in favor of Buhach, 1-0.
The Bulldogs earned no runs throughout eight innings, hitting only once, but found a way to establish their defense with only two errors in the league opener.
Buhach finished with two hits and one run, keeping a consistent intensity on the field with one error. The Thunder’s game-winning home run came at the top of the eighth by junior Karleena Flores.
The story of the game was the pitching duel between the teams. Winning pitcher Alex Molina collected eight strikeouts and allowed only one hit.
The Bulldogs had opportunities in the sixth and seventh innings with runners in scoring positions but just could not get them across home plate and suffered their third shutout of the season. But with the type of pitching the Bulldogs and Thunder showcased, nothing was taken for granted.
“Runs have been an issue for us lately,” Turlock coach Jill Ogden said. “We matched up great. The pitching was great, there’s not much you can do about that, and Morgan (Riddick) did exactly what she needed to do.”
Turlock’s wins have come by no more than three runs.
Riddick, Turlock's senior ace, had 11 strikeouts and allowed only two hits, one of which allowed Buhach to take home the win. But there is more to Riddick than what the scoreboard shows, as she's averaging 11 strikeouts.  
“We’re struggling a bit offensively,” Ogden said. “But just like today and the day before that, we're going to keep working hard in practice. Maybe we'll juggle the lineup a bit and see what kind of spark we can get.”
Turlock will travel to Atwater on Thursday hoping for a win against the Falcons, who have racked up over six losses so far this season.