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Team effort lifts Turlock softball over Gregori in first round
Turlock's Shelby Frutoz delivers a fast pitch during Wednesday's game against Gregori High. Fritz started and pitched a complete game, picking up her 16th win of the year for the Bulldogs. The Bulldogs won 9-6. - photo by CANDY PADILLA/The Journal

Wednesday's first round of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I ended just the way Turlock softball head coach Jill Ogden expected — with a win.

Ranked as the No. 9 seed, Turlock traveled to No. 8 Gregori High to take on the Modesto Metro Conference Champions, who were riding a six-game win streak and an undefeated league season, but ran into a wall when they met the Bulldogs.

Turlock captured their third straight win of the season after topping Gregori 9-6, in a game where the entire team came together to end the program’s decade long drought without a postseason victory.

“It has been a while, over a decade,” said Turlock head coach Jill Ogden. “This team plays for here and now and they wanted to play hard and we felt we could compete and turns out we could do that.”

The Bulldogs wasted no time getting on the board in the top of the first after Jessie Miranda led off with a walk and with two outs, Shelby Frutoz blasted a two-run homer over the left center wall to take a two-run lead by the bottom of the first.

Gregori tied it in the bottom of the first and the score remained 2-2 until the fifth inning.

Then with two outs in the fifth, Jayden Mendoza smacked a two-run single for the go-ahead to make it 4-2.

Gregori scored one run in the bottom of the fifth before Turlock broke the game wide open the next inning.

To start off the sixth, Turlock managed to get Kelly Weber, Haylee Morris, and Miranda on base, then Faith Erb drove two on an error to go up 6-3.

“Definitely need to mention Haylee as well... just a tremendous job in this game,” said Ogden of her senior.

The Stanford commit, Sophie Mayol, proved her capabilities after blasting a dead center three-run homer to extend the lead to 9-3.

“They scored three runs in the sixth, and we shut them out in the seventh,” said Ogden. “I think we went in thinking that it was a winnable game and we felt if we put the ball in play, then it could help and it helped us a lot.”

Turlock had eight hits for the game while starting pitcher Frutoz held Gregori to just five.

Sophomore Frutoz tossed another seven-inning complete game and walked eight, allowed three runs and struck out nine as she picked up her 16th win.

“She came out and pitched as well as she could today against a really tough team,” said Ogden of Frutoz. “She was able to work out of some jams and she did a great job but really it was a complete team effort today.”

Turlock goes to 16-11 overall, winning the most games since 2009 (16).

Mayol was 2-for-3 with three RBI. Erb and Miranda each scored two runs apiece and Mendoza added a pair of RBI.

Turlock will next take on No. 1 Sheldon who have won nine in a row at 4 p.m. Friday.