Pacheco softball off to rolling start

dwitte@losbanosenterprise.comMarch 17, 2014 

The Pacheco softball team has hit the ground running this spring with a 6-1 start after Monday’s 16-2 victory over Sonora and Tuesday’s 7-6 win against Franklin-Stockton.

Pacheco’s only loss so far came in a 6-4 loss to Orestimba on March 5 at the Orestimba Tournament, where the Panthers went 3-1 with wins over Johansen (8-0 the same day), and 9-5 over Beyer and 8-3 over Golden Valley on Saturday.

Sophomore starter Shyanne Vargas has been in the circle for all seven games (with Jen Eagleton stepping in twice for a total of six innings) with a 1.77 earned-run average so far.

“I think her confidence is brewing from the whole team being good,” Pacheco coach Charlie Pikas said. “We have essentially eight starters back from the year before, and you start to understand you’ve got kids around you that are capable ballplayers, plus you bring in a freshman in Sammy that has stepped right in, and shown she’s a varsity player right away.”

Sonora opened Monday’s game with run in the top of the first inning courtesy of a single, two stolen bases and another single. Pacheco’s Yadira Castillo walked, stole second and third, then advanced home on an error on her stolen base in the bottom of the frame. Three straight strikeouts, though, left the bases loaded for the Panthers.

Pacheco opened up a big lead in the second, starting with doubles by Vargas and Castillo. Six straight batters scored (Vargas, Castillo, Adrianna Tomasetti, Sammy Jacquez, Kayla Valdez and Eagleton) to give Pacheco a big cushion. Another eight runs scored in the bottom of the third on five singles, a Ylexus Jasso double, a fielder’s choice, a walk and a hit batsman.

“Anyone who’s been around Ed or I knows our saying: nameless, faceless opponents,” Pikas said. “We just go out and play, and if you’re fortunate enough to be in a game like this where you can get everybody in, enjoy it, because these don’t happen all the time. They handled it with the same approach, and the kids that subbed in late all took it serious and were working on their game, so I think just getting wins is what builds our confidence.”

Sonora scored on in the top of the fourth courtesy of a pair of errors and a single, but it was a drop in the bucket compared to Pacheco’s offensive output.

Pacheco survived Tuesday’s win over Franklin courtesy of a five-run sixth inning, allowing two Franklin runs in the top of the seventh to barely hang on.

“When we’re healthy, we are an extremely good team,” Pikas said. “Right now, Arianna (Barton)’s still working on an ankle injury, and a few others are working on some stuff, but we can be competitive with pretty much anyone around.”

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