HUGHSON — Ripon’s softball team didn’t have to rely on the longball this time.
The Indians found other ways to pick up another big win Wednesday, manufacturing runs, getting clutch knocks and leaning on sterling pitching for a 5-2 Trans-Valley League win over Hughson.
“These are critical wins,” Ripon coach Robert Vernon said. “We draw Escalon and Hughson, two of the top teams in the league and the (Sac-Joaquin) section, and come away with two wins — that’s huge for us.”
Ripon (2-0, 8-0 overall) began league last Friday, needing a walk-off homer from Makenna Daley in the ninth inning to beat Escalon in a thriller, 9-8. Two days prior, the Indians toppled friendly rival Manteca 12-9, and they clubbed three homers in each contest.
Home runs were not necessary Wednesday. In the top of the second inning, Myra Toledo plated sister Bianca with an RBI sacrifice bunt. Rhylee Magazinovic later drove home Mackenzie Hutchinson with a sacrifice fly.
Sydney Vernon and Sydney Thomason each tagged an RBI double. Lilly Mejia, Bianca Toledo and Daley each swatted a pair of hits.
It got interesting in the final inning when pitcher Thomason carried a 5-0 lead. Hughson’s first two batters of the inning reached on errors and were both driven in by Marijane Lopez’s double. Thomason escaped further damage, retiring the next three batters.
Hughson (0-2, 6-7) lost to Escalon 5-4 on Monday.
“Best outing of the season, for sure,” coach Vernon said of his sophomore hurler. “She was lights out today, hitting her spots and working ahead in the count and minimizing bit hits. She did an outstanding job.”
Beyer 478, Lathrop 508
MODESTO — Beyer improved by 80 strokes from its previous low at Dryden Creek Golf Course to knock off the Spartans (1-2). Ethan Vapien was low medalist of the Western Athletic Conference dual with an 82.
Sebastian Iniguez paced Lathrop with a 93, a new career low for an 18-hole match. Luke Marcello followed with a 94. Andrew Lam (103), Salvador Reyes (104) and Valen Phonthipanya (114) also scored.
Ripon Christian 210, Waterford 332
OAKDALE — The reigning champion Knights opened Southern Athletic League play at Oakdale Golf & Country Club and were led by Danton Indelicato’s even-par 36.
Ripon Christian had solid efforts behind him. Camdan Indelicato cared a 40, Darin Doek a 41, Dylan Koolhaus a 44 and Alex Berghorst a 49. Cameron West and Tyler Silva each had a 63 to lead Waterford.