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Turlock softball tops Gregori to advance
Turlock High's Jessie Miranda celebrates with teammate Faith Erb after Monday's walk-off victory that gave the Bulldogs a 3-2 win over the Gregori Jaguars in the first round of the Division-I Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs. - photo by EDDIE RUIZ/ The Journal

Turlock varsity softball is advancing to take on No. 1 Sheldon in the Division-I Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs after a wild extra inning walk-off, 3-2, victory from home on Monday in the first round against Gregori High—a future league foe.

“We knew they went undefeated in the MMC and we saw them in a tournament earlier in the year and beat them 5-0, but we knew they were a tough team, we expected a close game,” said Turlock head coach Jill Ogden.

Gregori, who will join Turlock in the newly developed Central California Athletic League next fall, just ended their final season in the Modesto Metro Conference with a perfect 12-0 record and were riding an eight-game winning streak prior to the game.

The Jaguars gave all they could and then some, putting up the first pair of runs of the game.

Gregori got on the board in the top of the third after Cheyenne Juarez and Aaliyah Swan each drilled back-to-back RBI doubles to go up 2-0 off starting pitcher Shelby Frutoz.

But after that Frutoz was lights out.

She had seven strikeouts in the final three innings.

Turlock’s Sophie Mayol put the ‘Dogs on the board after she tied the game with a first pitch two-run homer over the right center field fence.

Unfortunately, Turlock’s offense was limited despite loading the bases on three separate occasions — first in the third, then in the fifth before unloading in the eighth.

“We left a lot of runners on base today and we are a little lucky to get out of here with a win, but they didn’t have a lot of runners on base because Shelby dominated, so that is softball,” said Ogden. “Sometimes you don’t get the hit or break, but we held in there and pushed through in the eighth.”

In the bottom of the eighth, after Frutoz handled the Gregori offense for the remainder of the game, Turlock was able to rally.

Following a quick out to start the inning, Turlock’s Lauren Edh got on base with a single up the middle after going down early in the count.

With two outs and one on, Kylie Coehlo managed to beat out the throw to reach first base safely.

This set up Jessie Miranda to get on base after she got a hard hit at the third basemen who then mishandled the ball.

With two outs and bases loaded, Faith Erb of Turlock was able to make contact and her hit drove in Edh from third base as her team met her at home plate to celebrate the victory.

“This team, I don’t have to say much, they are self-motivated,” said Ogden. “They are loose, they are a veteran team, even though we have some sophomores, but I don’t have to say much they know what to do.”

Frutoz tossed eight innings and faced 29 batters, allowing just three hits, one walk, two hit-by-pitches, and struck out 17. Eight of those strikeouts were looking.

Turlock had three stolen bases as a team.

Gregori also committed six errors for the game.

Turlock’s Sophie Mayol was 1-for-3 with a pair of RBI and a home-run. Lauren Edh was 1-for-3 and scored the game-winning run. Kylie Coehlo was 2-for-4.

No. 8 Turlock will next travel on the road to take on No. 1 Sheldon, who also won last year’s Section title, at 4 p.m. Wednesday.

“They are No. 1 in the section for a reason,” Ogden added. “They have a rich tradition and history of winning. They are well coached, but for us it’s putting the ball in play and see what happens and ride our backs on Shelby or get on her back and see how it goes.”