Manteca High’s softball team capped its pre-league schedule Monday by drubbing visiting Argonaut of Jackson with a 12-2 win, its fifth in a row.
The Buffaloes (6-3) slugged 15 hits, and five of them went for doubles as they got production up and down the lineup. Monique Colunga drove in the game’s final run with a fielder’s choice in the bottom of the sixth.
Four underclassmen had big days at the plate.
Sophomore Celina Cooper, batting cleanup, was 3 for 3 with three runs, two RBIs and a double. Fellow sophomore Anissa Gonzalez finished 2 for 4 with two runs from the top of the lineup. Freshmen Morgan Miramontes (3 for 4, 2 runs, 2 RBIs, double) and Aryanna Martinez (2 for 3, 2 doubles, 2 RBIs) did plenty of damage from the No. 6 and 7 spots in the order.
“We came through (with clutch hits) when we had to,” said four-year starter Selena Gonzalez, who went 3 for 4 with three runs plated and two driven in. “We have a strong lineup throughout. Everybody can hit the ball and we have power.”
Pitcher Peyton Rose was the fire starter for the Buffalo offense after she allowed Argonaut to take a 1-0 lead in the top of the first. Kobie Pettis (1 for 1, 2 walks, 2 runs), Argonaut’s outstanding shortstop who has committed to Cal, drew a walk, stole two bases and scored on Alyssa Waldron’s fielder’s choice.
Rose answered in the bottom half with a two-out, two-strike blow that went for two runs and two bases.
“You don’t want to be down going into the second inning, so coming through with two outs was huge,” Manteca coach Corey Navarro said. “That’s one thing is we’ve been working on is getting girls to score when they’re in scoring position, and Peyton did that. We just have to keep that momentum going.”
Except for a few shaky moments, Rose was nails from the pitcher’s circle. She delivered four shutdown innings and saw no more than four batters in five out of six frames en route to a three-hit finish.
Rose was backed by an error-free defense that turned an inning-ending double play in the fourth and caught a runner trying to steal second on a pickoff play. She walked four, hit one and struck out six.
“Argonaut is capable of doing the same thing we did — come out and just start putting together a bunch of hits,” Navarro said. “Peyton did a fantastic job of shutting them down, and defensively we got over a hump by not having an inning full of mistakes.”
Argonaut (3-4), which suffered its first mercy-shortened defeat of the season, threatened to take a second lead in the top of the third when it struck three straight one-out singles together. Waldron clubbed an RBI single to plate Pettis and knot the score at 2-2. Manteca kept the damage to a minimum, as Rose forced a pop fly to right field and catcher Martinez threw out a base runner at third to end it.
Manteca opens the Valley Oak League season at Sonora Wednesday.