On March 15, the Lady Badgers softball team (1-5) hosted Livingston at Yosemite High School, earning their first win on the season 6-5. Junior Courtney Herrera was the winning pitcher.
Badger centerfielder Sarah Meeks made two outstanding catches that prevented Livingston runs being scored.
Senior Lynette Combs went 3 for 3 at the plate, including two doubles. Sophomore Amaya Avellana was 2 for 3 with a double and and RBI.
Senior Katie Lemos started with a double for an RBI, then sent a long fly to center, driving a runner home in the fourth inning. Junior catcher Katie Thompson then hit a deep shot to center, earning an RBI and putting the Badgers up 6-5 to ultimately win the game.
The win was aided by senior Michaela Gray, who took the mound in the fifth inning, allowing no runs on two hits.
Badgers vs Riverbank
On Friday, March 18, the Lady Badgers faced the Riverbank Bruins, losing 10-4.
Combs went 2 for 3, both singles. Junior Katie Thompson also went 2 for 3, earning an RBI in the fourth inning with a triple to center, driving in Combs for the first run allowed by Riverbank. This was followed by Lemos (2 for 3 on the day) driving in Thompson for a second Badger run.
Riverbank Coach Cassie Ross, a 1981 Yosemite alumni and her team made the trek south to play ball, and visit her favorite Yosemite teacher, Ellen (Jackson) Peterson.
“When I first asked my players if they would like to play Yosemite, and see where I spent my high school years, they were excited,” Ross said.
The players on the two teams exchanged gifts after the game.
Ross has fond memories of YHS.
“I attended Yosemite High School from September 1978 to June 1981.” Ross said. “My family moved to Bass Lake from Southern California, two days before my sophomore year. Most of that first year I was lost. When I went out for softball and met Ms. Jackson (Ellen Peterson) I finally felt like I would survive the move.”
Ross was the Badger back-up catcher to Lauren Lindskog the season Yosemite won the Central Section championship.
“I’m not sure why, but during that championship game, I was put into the game, and I remember coach telling me I made the difference,” Ross said. “I honestly don’t remember anything else about all the games we played, but I do remember the relationships. Ellen made sure we knew the value of the relationships with each other. She didn’t see us as softball players, she saw us as young women with potential and promise.”
Ross remembers in her senior year as a first baseman she was receiving college scholarship offers, and in practice a ground ball went by her that she didn’t even attempt to dive for.
“I ran for quite awhile after that,” Ross said. “After the run, Ellen explained to me why, and I will never forget the lesson of having the humility she taught me that day. Ellen has been my mentor for the past 35 years. Both in my personal life, as well as my teaching and coaching career.”
After the game, the Riverbank team spent the night at Peterson’s house, before traveling to Yosemite for the day on the way home.
“My girls are already talking about next year’s trip,” Ross said.
The Lady Badgers face Delta Charter of Tracy at 3 p.m. March 24, in the Jackson Tournament.
Note: Additional photos can be seen at www.sierrastar.com.