Los Banos High’s softball team hit a speed bump on Wednesday in a 13-2 loss to Ceres, which clinched the Western Athletic Conference championship last week.
“They’ve got one of the better lineups around, that’s for sure, top to bottom,” Los Banos coach Dustin Caropreso said. “They do a good job of making you pay for mistakes, that’s one thing they do.”
The Tigers held it close, allowing an unearned run in the second inning and two in the third. But seven Ceres runs in the fifth put the game away.
“We walked the No. 9 hitter in the fourth inning, and they proceeded to score three runs that inning,” Caropreso said. “We give up seven in the fifth. They just started crushing us. It’s 6-1, we have runners on first and second, and we’re trying to lay down a bunt and we don’t execute. She was throwing a lot of pitches, and we were making good contact. If we do that, maybe we’re down 6-4 and we don’t lose 13-2, who knows?”
Los Banos scored one in the fourth (Alyssa Waltman scored when Brianna Flores hit into a three-base error) and one in the fifth (Haley Quintana on a Nicole Marchese double). Ceres’ Nicole Bates did some damage from the leadoff position, going 3-for-4 with a home run and a double.
The loss left LB (6-4) half a game ahead of Central Valley (5-4) for second in the WAC. Los Banos hosts Pacheco today and Livingston on Tuesday. Right behind them are Central Catholic (5-5) and Pacheco (4-5).
“I explained to the girls, we win the next two games, we’re in second place by ourselves. 8-4, no one can catch us,” Caropreso said. “But if we don’t take care of business tomorrow, then we’re in a three-way tie for two spots. It’s in their hands.
“You want to be able to control your own destiny. You don’t want someone to control it for you.”