By Andrea Camarena

Exeter softball looked like a championship team last week knocking two top Central Sequoia League teams down a peg and stepped into second place with a 5-4 league record.

The Lady Monarchs started the week by defeating Immanuel, who at game time was the only team to defeat the first place Vikings.

Exeter took a 12-2 win over Immanuel on Tuesday, April 17 in Reedley. Senior shortstop Marlene Gonzalez went 3-4 to lead Exeter to victory. She had two singles, one double, scored three runs, stole three bases and produced three RBIs.

Right-handed pitcher Caitlin Carter pitched the win and Amanda Brooks relieved her in the sixth to close the game by putting out three straight batters.

Exeter's Callie Souza went two for two at the plate with an RBI, a sacrifice hit and was walked once. She scored three runs.

Carter picked up another win when the Monarchs hosted the first place Vikings on Friday, April 20 and took a 4-0 victory.

The Vikings record dropped to 7-2 and Exeter moved into second place in the league standings with a 5-4 winning record.

The win was a grudge victory after Exeter fell 2-10 to the Vikings in Kingsburg on March 27.

This time around, Exeter's Cortney Whitlock scored the game-winning run in the first inning. She led off with a line drive single over Kingsburg's shortstop's head. Niki Zeibak then sacrificed Whitlock to second and a wild pitch put the leadoff batter at third.

Souza hit Whitlock in with a sacrifice fly to right field.

In the second inning, Exeter's Katie LaFleur started off with a hit just over the shortstop's reach then moved over to second when Devann McClellan was hit by a pitch. Ashley Wilson sacrificed the two runners to second and third. Daniela Banuelos cleaned with a two-run single. In her second appearance at the plate in two innings, Whitlock doubled Banuelos in for the final run of the game.

&#8220The Monarchs have come together, working as a team and playing head’s up defensive,” Exeter coach Karen Zeibak said. &#8220Both games played this week were a total team effort. Every player on the team had a big role in wins this week.”

Exeter's defense has cleaned up and made three double plays against Immanuel. Against Kingsburg, the Monarchs erased a lead off double by picking off the runner at second base. In the same game, Exeter pulled out a loaded bases threat with only one out in the top of the second inning against Kingsburg.

Exeter Will be back at home at 4 p.m. on Friday, April 27 against Dinuba to start the final round of CSL play.

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