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EU makes trip worth while with split
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CLOVIS – After a dominating showing from Jackie Ketner in East Union’s nightcap against Clovis High, the long drive south seemed worth the trip after the Lancers salvaged a split with a 4-0 win over the Clovis Cougars Saturday.

East Union (5-2) began the double-header with a sluggish start, spotting Clovis game one with minimal output in the batter’s box. Things would change in game two with East Union providing Ketner all the run support she would need with a four-run fourth.

Cassie Waggy, Brittany Lamar, Kourtni McCall and Jessica Lavoie strung together back-to-back-to-back-to-back hits, all driving in runs. The four-run outburst was more than enough for Ketner, who was rock-solid in a complete-game two-hit shutout.

“If you go down there and be realistic, you know you’re going to have to play two phenomenal games to win two there,” East Union head coach Brian Goulart said. “They played well. That team played tremendous defense in that first game. We hit the ball hard on the ground and in the air, but they just made every play. In the second game we reversed it.

“They even said, ‘Man, wow did you guys get off the mat and show us you can compete.”

Ketner competed for certain, holding a potent Clovis lineup silent for seven innings. Ketner was impressive, keeping the Cougars off-balanced by changing speeds and working ahead in the counts.

“Going in I knew I had my good stuff because my spins were working well in pregame,” Ketner said. “I’ve been working really hard on getting my spins down and strengthening my arm. I think I pitched a pretty good game, but it’s because of the defense I had behind me.

“If I didn’t have the defense that I had behind me, it would have definitely been a disaster.”

Lamar led a solid Lancer offensive attack, going 3 for 3 in the finale with three RBIs. Both Wagner and McCall got two hits apiece and drove in a run. Waggy also tallied East Union’s only hit in the first contest.

Clovis (7-4) rolled out the welcome mats for the Lancers, making the day-night double-header a quality evening for the East Union faithful who made the trip. The Cougars are in the debut season of a recently renovated softball complex that left nothing to be desired in regards to softball facilities.

“It was a full house,” Goulart said of the atmosphere. “They’re such a class act. They threw a barbeque and fed all of the East Union coaches, players and fans. They fed over 100 East Union people.

“Everything about this trip was perfect; I am excited that we had the opportunity to make this trip.”

The Lancers will kick off the Valley Oak League season Wednesday when they travel to Lathrop to take on the Spartans. East Union clearly has postseason aspirations and that journey takes to new levels with the opening of the league schedule.

“I feel we’re ready,” Goulart said. “We have played some great games against some great teams. Our girls are starting to understand what is required to be great.

“It’s looking pretty good for the Lancers and I like it a lot.”

East Union 9, Clovis 4
CLOVIS – The Lancers did what they had to do in their action with Clovis, cruising home with a comfortable win to close out the preseason schedule.

Gianna Gesler led the club, going 4 for 4 with three RBIs and two runs scored. Kailee Nuding, Ashley Cook and Jenny Ketner all went 3 for 5, with Nuding stroking three triples in her five at bat’s.  Cook came around to score twice, while Ketner scored one. Stephanie Booke finished 3 for 4.

Jill Costa and Natalie Large combined to hold the Cougars in check, with Costa going four innings, surrendering a run and striking out four. Large was as impressive, holding Clovis to one hit and striking out three in three innings of work.

The Lancers (3-4) will open VOL action Tuesday with a trip to Lathrop.

— Jagada Chambers