Tribe gets blanked by Wasco

(Kason Clark)

Tulare Union softball falls in a 2-0 home loss to the Wasco Tigers; the Tribe drop to 7-3-1 on the season with the defeat

TULARE – The Tribe had been playing some solid softball to open the year, but they faced some stiff competition this past Wednesday night. At home against the Wasco Tigers, Tulare Union’s bats went cold as they went on to lose 2-0. While he liked how his starting pitcher played, Tulare Union head coach Carl Bivens was disappointed that the offense could not break through.

“Offensively we struggled. We were not confident in the box and the Wasco pitcher really took control of the game because of that,” Bivens said. “Gabby Terronez came through for us and pitched one hell of a game. She kept us in the game in every inning and every situation.”

With the loss on March 20, the Tribe fell to 7-3-1 on the season. The Wasco Tigers have been playing well lately, now winning their fifth straight game to improve to 8-3 this spring. However, the Tribe had their chances to end Wasco’s winning streak.

Over the course of the first two innings, the Tribe played well defensively to keep Wasco off the scoreboard. But Wasco starting pitcher Cedes Saldana was in a rhythm as the Tribe could not produce at the plate.

In the top of the third inning, the Tigers broke through to take the lead. Following a single from Ale Raya, Saldana hit a single to right field to drive in Raya for the run and the 1-0 lead. But after that score, the Tribe shut out the Tigers over the following three innings to keep it a one-run deficit. Even though she usually plays second base for the Tribe, Terronez pitched well throughout the night for the Tribe.

“We needed some help on the pitching side so we put her in there and she really stepped up,” Bivens said. “More importantly, I tasked the team to step up and support her and help her and be there for her and I think defensively we did that.”

Even though Terronez and the defense kept the Tribe in the game, the Tulare Union offense could not break through. Through the course of the night, the Tribe struggled to string some hits together to create a spark on offense.

Tulare Union’s KaiLee Gilbert runs the bases against Wasco. (Kason Clark)

Heading into the seventh inning, it remained a 1-0 game. Looking to increase the Wasco lead, Abby Salazar doubled to left field to put herself in scoring position for the Tigers. Aliya Leal then got her home for the score with a double to center field.

In the bottom of the seventh, the Tribe now needed two runs to keep the game alive. But instead, the Tigers recorded three quick outs to end the game and hand Tulare Union the loss. As his young team marches on, Bivens hopes that the Tribe can learn from this loss and continue improving.

“We have to do this one game at a time and one of the things that we’re really focusing on right now is fixing our mistakes,” Bivens said. “We’re a young team so we’re looking to see what we can learn from this game and apply to our next game.”

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