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Brooks, errors hamper East Union
With an Escalon base runner tagging up, East Union right fielder Gianna Gesler rushes her throw back into the infield after making a nice diving grab for an out in the first inning of Tuesday’s non-league contest at Northgate Softball Complex. - photo by JONAMAR JACINTO
The first four innings might not have been pretty, but East Union was able to get out with minimum damage Tuesday night in their non-league matchup against Escalon.

With two outs in the top of the fifth and no runners on base, all the Lancers needed to do was retire one Escalon batter to get a chance to break the stalemate and possibly secure a win in a wet and windy game at the Northgate Softball Complex.

It wasn’t to be. Lancer relief pitcher Kristen Borst would walk the next two batters, and a pair of ensuing errors – a passed ball that advanced the runners and a ground ball up the middle that was missed by the first baseman – would allow Escalon to break the tie and tack on two more runs to put the pressure on East Union.

The Lancers had one last chance in the sixth inning to recapture the lead, but scored only one runner to fall 4-3 to the Cougars in a rain-shortened contest.

 “We struck out way too many times today, and we committed too many errors out there,” East Union head coach Brian Goulart said. “We’ve got to fix a lot of things that we were doing wrong. We have to be able to throw the ball to first base, and we couldn’t do that today.”

Escalon (4-3) drew first blood when lead-off batter Casey Schmidig was driven in by Katie Heflin for the game’s first run.

East Union (2-3-1) answered in the second when senior speedster Salina Tiscareno struck out swinging but made it to first on a dropped third strike and worked her way around the bases on an error to tie the game.

Then Escalon’s ace hurler Caitlyn Brooks – who struck out 15 in six innings of work –  answered with her bat. The Escalon senior planted a shot deep into left field that landed far beyond the home-run fence to put the Cougars up by a run.

And even though Brooks continued to be dominant from the circle, East Union clawed back into the game in the bottom of the fourth inning when Brittany LaMar singled, stole a base, and then took off on a passed ball for home and scored the tying run after the home plate umpire called a conference before making the final call.

Everything would change, however, in the fifth inning.

With two outs, Borst walked Brooks and Anastasia Rodriguez, and then barely missed a sharply hit infield grounder that bounced off her glove and into the perimeter of second base. An error on the throw to first ended up scoring both runners, and Escalon cruised to victory.

“They’re a very good team, but we played horrible defense tonight,” Goulart said. “When the game is tied and they score two runs on a dropped ball, you’re going to lose games. And even we still had a chance to win.

“I’d rather lose a game and play errorless than win a game like we played tonight.”


East Union 2, Monte Vista 0

The Lancers rode the hot hand of Savina Brandi against the visitors from Danville.

East Union (7-0) got unworldly pitching from Brandi, who tossed seven innings of shutout ball, striking out four and not walking a batter.

Brittney Martin helped with the offense, going 2-for-3 and teammate Stephanie Gannon was 1-for-3 with one of the two RBI.

The Lancers will be back on the diamond Monday with a trip to Tracy to take on the West Wolf pack .