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Lancers make up for early day one mistakes

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Lancers make up for early day one mistakes

East Union's Tailor Brown connects on her bunt attempt. The sophomore recorded her first two base hits of her varsity career against Linden Thursday during the Nor-Cal Classic.


POSTED April 17, 2009 2:15 a.m.
TRACY — It turns out East Union will not successfully defend its 2008 Nor-Cal Classic championship.
The opening rounds of the 56-team tournament at Tracy Sports Complex Thursday was a mixed bag for the Valley Oak League’s co-leaders, who dropped a 3-2 decision to Johansen of Modesto before coming from behind to upend Linden 6-4 in the consolation bracket.
East Union (13-4) will next face Tracy at 9 a.m. Saturday on Field 1 to continue play in the Platinum Division — the tournament’s most competitive of the four.
“We had our ups and downs,” said EU second baseman Alicia Cook. “We played OK in our first game but we had our struggles at the plate. And in the second game we came out and played horrible.
“It wasn’t us. We just didn’t seem ready or prepared. But once we got the defense and the bats going we started playing like the old East Union team we’re used to.”
Defensive miscues and fluky runs for Linden (9-5), which benefited from an erroneous call on a force play at the plate, led to a 4-0 deficit after two, but East Union fired back with four of its own in the third.
Cook, who finished 2 for 3, rounded out the comeback with a two-run double in the fifth. It was the second time this season she was a foot shy of hitting her first career home run, as her soaring shot to left was kept in play by a strong headwind, and the ball consequently skipped off the top of the fence.
“I really want my home run because I haven’t had one yet all four years, but I’m just glad I got the hit in the first place,” she said. “I don’t care that it didn’t go over, because it got the runs in that we needed.”
Sophomore catcher Tailor Brown, who started in place of Brittany LaMar behind the dish, sparked the Lancers’ third-inning rally with a sharp line drive to left for her first varsity base hit. She tallied hit No. 2 in the sixth, legging out an infield single.
Kourni McCall and Jillian Goulart loaded the bases with consecutive singles, and Cassie Waggy drove in EU’s first two runs with a knock to left.
Rochelle Sellers continued the rally with an RBI single to center, and Cherie DeJesus grounded out but sent in the tying run.
McCall pitched the final 5 1/3 for the win, giving up just one hit and four walks. She replaced starter Ally Paluck, who took a line drive to a shin with two outs in the second. Only two of the four runs charged to her were earned, as the Lancers uncharacteristically committed three errors over the first two frames.
“It was such a bummer that she got hurt,” EU coach Brian Goulart said. “She was pitching well up until that point, we just had a lot of mental lapses. Like (assistant coach) Randy Friend was saying, we didn’t make a fundamental play in the first inning.
“Linden is a very good team, but we gifted them those runs.”
The offensive outburst (EU totaled nine hits against Linden) had Goulart breathing a sigh of relief after a lackluster showing to the start the tournament.
Elizibeth Perez racked up 10 strikeouts while giving up just four hits for Johansen (10-4-1).
McCall and Waggy, who was 4 for 7 for the day, produced the Lancers’ few highlights in Game 1. Waggy drove in McCall with a triple in the third, and McCall smashed a solo homer in the fifth.
“Outside of their big hits, we did not look very good offensively,” Goulart said. “I don’t know what it is, but every year when we start this tournament that first morning game is a nightmare for us.
“We have to get excited for a game whether it’s 9 o’clock in the morning or at night — it shouldn’t matter. We were really flat, and (Johansen) wanted it way more than we did. They battled and they got it done.”

To contact Jonamar Jacinto, e-mail, or call (209) 249-3538.

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