The Minarets Mustangs softball team (6-6), behind the two-hit pitching performance of Bailee Avina, beat Hoover High (2-11) 10-2 last week. The only runs scored by Hoover came from Mustang errors.
It’s the second time this season the Mustangs have beaten the Patriots this season, winning 6-3 in the opening round of the Madera South Invitational March 13.
Avina, the standout junior, stymied Hoover all game long with the help of some excellent defense, a defense that was averaging five errors per game earlier in the season. The defense has improved over the past two weeks, lowering that number considerably to 1.5 per game.
The Mustangs had four hits for extra bases - Faith Nolan, Alex Jimenez, Kelea Kamalani. and Avina recorded doubles as the Mustangs had their best offensive performance of the season.
The team has several players settling into new positions - junior Patricia Thomasian is playing stellar defense taking over at shortstop. New to catching, junior Kamalani has given the Mustangs a strong anchor behind the plate, and is averaging three put-outs per game.
Junior Delaney Reardon is playing first base for the first time due to a fractured ankle that will require surgery following the season. At second base is sophomore Sarah Parker, and senior Jimenez anchors third base. In all, the Mustangs have only two veteran players in the in-field.
On the mound, Avina and Kamalani give the Mustangs a solid one-two punch. Both pitchers share time on the mound and are becoming familiar taking on the starting, as well as closing role for the Mustangs.
The team plays Washington Union this Saturday in the opening round of the Fowler Easter Classic, followed by games with Immanuel, Caruthers, and Fowler.
"Each game we improve as we prepare to enter into league play, the young ladies continue too impress me with their selfless play and determination, there is no quit in this group of players and I expect them to take Minarets to a new level of play", said coach Ginny Taylor.
Minarets Varsity Football Asst. Coach
Sierra Star Sports Writer