Softball: Monarchs stun CSL with defeat of Bears

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Strong hitting in the fifth inning of gives Exeter their first win over Selma in four years

By Patrick Dillon @PDillon_SGN

SELMA – Exeter had not defeated Selma in their last 10 meetings, and that included a 5-4 heart breaking home loss earlier this season. With that in mind Exeter head coach Karen Zeibak told her team to play loose and take one inning at a time. It worked and the Monarchs walked out with a 6-2 win over the Bears, their first since 2014.

“All of us were very excited about this win,” Zeibak said. “All of the girls played up to their potential.”

A strength of the Monarchs (21-4, 3-3) this season has been their hitting, and in the fourth inning they swung to their full potential. Exeter drove in five runs to break a 1-1 tie and give them the win. Katelyn Kirkman began the onslaught on a double that was only inches away from going over the fence. A couple batters later Kirkman scored the game winning run off a single by Zoie Belk. 

The Monarchs added two more runs on a single by Mycaela Rivas before their top hitter came up. With Rivas still on Corinne Acosta launched a two run home run to make it 6-1. The long ball was Acosta’s third of the season as she hit a .500 batting average.

“We just decided to swing the bats like we knew we could,” Zeibak said.

The last time Acosta finished a game with a batting average below .500 was the first meeting between these two teams. Her innate ability to hit every pitch is the reason she holds a .706 batting average this season.

“It is amazing,” Zeibak said. “She is on fire, and it doesn’t matter what she does. She can bunt and get on, or swing away.”

Brooklyn Blackmon started in the pitchers circle for the Monarchs just as she had in their first game against Selma (9-7, 5-1). She allowed only three hits, two of which were extra base hits, and struck out nine batters.

Exeter had been on a two game losing skid, dropping games to Kingsburg and Dinuba, entering the game. Now with the biggest win in the Central Sequoia League under their belt the Monarchs look to make up some ground. Only two games out of first place Exeter hosted last place Central Valley Christian last night where the final occured after press time. Friday they host the Immanuel Eagles at 4 p.m.

While a CSL patch would look good on the players’ letterman jackets Zeibak knows the end goal is a valley championship. But to get there they’ll have to attack every team from here on out and hope that lands them in a top spot in the Division IV CIF standings.

“We don’t take any teams easy,” Zeibak said. “We come in with a tone of energy no matter who we are playing.”

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