Miners halt Marauders comeback attempt, dig up first WYL win

El Diamante’s Natalie Negron throws the ball against Monache.(Kason Clark)

El Diamante softball holds off Monache for a 2-1 home victory; the Miners improve to 1-1 in the East Yosemite League and 11-7 overall this spring

VISALIA – Heading into its game against Monache on Thursday night, El Diamante softball was in dire need of a win. The Miners were off to an 0-1 start in the East Yosemite League and they had gone 1-7 in their previous eight games. So when they faced the Marauders at home, the Miners were ready.

The El Diamante offense first came through with a couple runs to take an early lead. The Miners then held on for the 2-1 victory on April 11. Thanks to their defense and pitching, the Miners improved to 1-1 in league play.

“We played pretty good defense for the most part,” El Diamante head coach Stephanie Rapozo said. “Our defense was pretty spot on today other than a couple of iffy things but we came through in the end.”

The Miners are now 11-7 overall this spring and look to build off this victory after going through a rough patch of games. El Diamante senior Jorja Moreno believes those losses did not sway the Miners, but they still needed this win.

“This win was really big for us to come back into league,” Moreno said. “Having that losing streak didn’t really define us because they were top notch schools and we fought really hard with the extra innings.”

Moreno was instrumental in helping the Miners get this win. Against the Marauders, Moreno pitched the whole game where she allowed eight hits and one earned run. As she buried the Monache offense, Moreno credits her defense with helping her out on the mound.

“My team behind me, they really picked me up,” Moreno said. “They cheered me on and we just kept the energy going.”

Along with her pitching, Moreno came through for the Miners on offense. In the bottom of the second inning with a runner on, Moreno gave El Diamante the lead with an RBI single to center field. Makayla Heatherly then stretched the lead to 2-0 when she drove Moreno home on an RBI double.

“I think we were really just trusting each other and really focusing on our at bats,” Moreno said about the RBI hits. “Calming ourselves, talking ourselves through our at bats and just having trust in the process.”

While the El Diamante defense had a strong performance, Monache broke through in the third. With a runner on third base, Jaydin Sabol singled to left to drive in the run and cut the deficit to 2-1. But through the rest of the game, both offenses struggled to gain much traction. 

El Diamante’s Aubre Anderson bats against Monache. (Kason Clark)

In the sixth inning, the Marauders had a shot to tie the game. After hitting the ball to deep right field, Aaliyah Mosqueda had the opportunity to score on an inside-the-park home run. But she was called out at home to end the inning.

In the seventh, the Marauders failed to score as they fell to 1-1 in league play and 9-11 overall. While the Marauders put runners on base throughout the game, Monache head coach Briana Bamber knows they will need to capitalize on those opportunities as they go forward.

“We just have to get our bats going when we have runners in scoring position,” Bamber said. “We had a much better day today. We put the ball in play a lot better and weren’t popping up but we just have to get it past people. That’s what we have to focus on.”

As the Miners head into the rest of the league season, Rapozo hopes that the Miners can build off this win and go compete for the EYL title.

“We’re going to have a big target on our back all the way through,” Rapozo said. “We can’t let up no matter who we play and our destiny is in our hands. We’ve got to win all the way out and we’ll see where everybody else’s wins and losses even out.”

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