PREP ROUNDUP: Sanger High softball dominates opening week CMAC foes

Apaches erupt for double figure runs twice in mercy rule routs of San Joaquin Memorial and Garza, Reedley also off to unbeaten start in TCC Kings Canyon softball

Sanger High senior softball players (from left) Aaliyah Alvarado, Nayomi Contrares, Julia Gutierrez, Alyssa Martinez and Jayden Herrera pose with coaches after a 10-0 rout of Justin Garza High in Sanger on April 12. The Apaches won their two opening County Metro Athletic Conference games last week by a combined 28-3 score. (George Armenta)
Sanger High senior softball players (from left) Aaliyah Alvarado, Nayomi Contrares, Julia Gutierrez, Alyssa Martinez and Jayden Herrera pose with coaches after a 10-0 rout of Justin Garza High in Sanger on April 12. The Apaches won their two opening County Metro Athletic Conference games last week by a combined 28-3 score. (George Armenta)
Jon Earnest
Published April 15, 2024  • 
11:30 am

SANGER – The Sanger High softball team made a resounding statement to County Metro Athletic Conference competition in its two opening conference games last week.

The Apaches (14-5 overall) pounded out 22 hits, scoring in seven of nine innings at the plate to post five-inning mercy rule home routs of San Joaquin Memorial (18-3 on April 9) and Justin Garza High (10-0 on April 12) at SHS varsity field. Sanger ran its win streak to four games heading into an April 16 showdown at CMAC co-leader Bullard.

Memorial (4-8, 0-2) opened the April 9 game with two runs in the top of the first inning, but Sanger responded in resounding fashion with a 10-run explosion. Winning pitcher Amber Estrada drove in three runs while Taryn East doubled and knocked in two runs. Ten different Apaches had hits in the game, led by junior Sierra Wyrick who went 3-for-3 while scoring three runs and collecting two RBI.

Sophomore Arioso Cardos was the big hitter in the shutout of Garza, going 3-for-4 with a double and two runs scored. Nayomi Contreras was 2-for-2 with a pair of doubles and two runs scored while Julia Gutierrez added two hits and two RBI. Sophomore Emma Hernandez allowed just three hits in her five-inning complete game, striking out five and walking one.

Sanger hosts Edison (9-6, 1-1) in a 3:30 p.m. start on Friday, April 19. The Apaches then have three consecutive CMAC road games before returning home for a May 3 rematch against Bullard.

Pirates down Hanford West, Selma

Reedley High is setting the early pace in the Tri-County Conference Kings Canyon Division title chase, defeating Hanford West 8-2 on April 9 and then outscoring Selma 4-2 on April 12. The Pirates (12-8, 2-0) combined loneball power, belting three home runs, and got a pair of complete game pitching performances from senior Sierra Hallum.

Against Hanford West, Reedley got home runs from Jamilah Taylor and Ashlee Chavez (both first of the season) to cap a seven-hit attack with senior Chavez adding a double and driving in three runs. In the win at Selma, senior catcher Candi Moreno-Hairabedien launched her team-high seventh home run of the campaign and also doubled while scoring twice and driving in two.

Hallum finished with a stellar one-hitter against the Bears, striking out four and walking two while working around three errors. Against Hanford West, she scattered five hits and struck out one without walking a batter.

After an April 16 home game against Sierra Pacific, the Pirates travel to Kingsburg for a potential first place showdown against the TCC Kings Canyon co-leader Vikings (12-4-1, 2-0). First pitch is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.

Two big wins for Orange Cove softball

Orange Cove High prepped for the first week of East Sequoia League Redwood Division play with a pair of lopsided victories last week. The Titans (9-9) pounded Granite Hills 28-0 in five innings in Porterville on April 8, then trounced. Lindsay 11-0 in six innings at home on April 10.

Senior Mia Castillo pitched a six-inning perfect game against the visiting Cardinals, striking out 14 and retiring all 18 batters faced before the Titans  ended the game early with two runs in the sixth. Maddie Powers went 3-for-4, homering and driving in three runs while freshman Kylee Gomez also collected three hits.

Orange Cove battered Granite Hills pitching for 25 hits, including five by Castillo who homered and drove in seven runs. The senior right-hander also allowed one hit and struck out 11. Gomez had two hits and drove in five runs while senior Star Elizondo went 54-for-5 with six runs scored and two RBI.

The Titans have two ESL games this week; at Orange Cove (April 15) and home against Farmersville (Thursday, April 18) in a 5:30 p.m. start.

BASEBALL

Reedley splits TCC contests with Exeter

Reedley High (7-10, 3-2 Tri-County Sequoia) split its two conference contests last week with Exeter High. The Pirates dropped an 8-7 decision on April 9, but bounced back for a 3-2 home victory over the Monarchs (14-4, 3-3) on April 12.

Jacob Silva worked five-plus innings for the victory, scattering four hits and allowing one earned run while striking out four. Ely Garcia scored two runs and Ryan Velasquez knocked in a run as the Pirates avenged losses in the first two rounds. Mason Cisneros and Darren Ortiz each had two hits and a run batted in during the road loss.

Reedley has a TCC home-and-home with Selma this week, hosting the Bears on April 16 and then traveling to Selma at 6:30 p.m. Friday, April 19.

TRACK AND FIELD

Locals collect five victories at West Coast Relays

On a rainy Saturday in Clovis on April 13, four local athletes in the Mid Valley Times region combined to collect five victories at the West Coast Relays track and field meet at Veterans Memorial Stadium.

Dinuba High senior Avril Mendoza collected a pair of first place finishes in girls hurdles events. She captured the silver division of the 100 meter hurdles in 15.53 seconds, then won the gold division in the 300 hurdles in a time of 44.79 seconds. In the latter event, she edged top-ranked Bella Turner of Liberty-Bakersfield by two-tenths of a second.

Immanuel High senior Gaby Ramirez clocked a personal record 11 minutes, 51.99 seconds to win the silver division in the girls 3200 meters run. In the boys 1600 races, Parlier High senior Evan Torres won the silver division in a PR time of 4:21.13 while Sanger High junior Sawyer Pugliese also set a PR while winning the bronze division race in 4:24.47.

This week, Sanger High will host the 24-school Sanger Metric Classic at Dodson Field on Friday, April 19. Action begins at 3:45 p.m. or field events and 4:15 for running events. Athletes from Dinuba, Parlier, Reedley and Sanger West join host Apaches’ athletes among the entrants.

Jon Earnest
Reporter