Exeter heads to break at 5-1-1

Exeter tied El Diamante 0-0 in their last game before the season was suspended

By Jermaine Johnson II

EXETER – As they have consistently done over the last few years, the Monarchs opened the season with a string of strong performances. They were 5-0 before falling to Fowler 2-0 and then tying with El Diamante in their last two games before the season’s suspension.

Exeter won their first four games by three points or less, before defeating Madera South 12-3. 

“I feel like we’ve been doing very well, especially for it being so early in the season,” head coach Karen Zeibak said. “We’ve had some tough games, but we’ve still been coming out on top.” 

A big key to the team’s success has been their strong pitching. Junior Brooklyn Blackmon has had a dominant season with 63 strikeouts and only 2 earned runs through seven games. 

“She has been pitching very well. She’s throwing harder this year and has picked up a couple miles per hour on her pitches.”

Blackmon threw nine strikeouts and no earned runs in each of the last two games. However, the Monarchs have struggled offensively. In their last game at El Diamante, the weather added to the struggles for both teams. The rain poured down but they played six full innings before the game was called. The wind also played a factor as it sent some balls sailing into foul territory after being hit. 

Junior Allison Paregian and freshman Mariella Gonzales have done a lot to carry the Monarchs offensively. Paregian leads the team in RBIs with 11 while Gonzales leads in runs. 

For the Miners, they came into the game with a 5-7 record. They started the season 4-0 before playing in two tough tournaments at Redwood and Buchanan. They’ve now lost seven of their last nine games.

“We started off really strong and then we went into some harder tournaments where we faced some Division I schools,” head coach Danielle Emerson said. We [did well] making adjustments at the plate but our defense could have better.” 

Emerson also praised Blackmon’s strong play, referring to her one of the best pitchers that the Miners have seen all season. Both teams were a game or two away from league play, but will now have to wait and see if their season will resume. 

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