Sometimes, it takes a little luck to turn a game around. The East Union softball team had that luck Friday.
Clinging to a one-run lead over visiting Modesto in non-league action at Northgate Softball complex, the first two batters in the Lancers fifth went down in order and the No. 9 batter Lexa Avalos appeared to ground out to end the inning.
But appearances can be deceiving. The Panthers were called for catcher’s interference on Avalos, and by the time the dust settled an RBI ground-rule double by Gavina Molina, an RBI single by Allie Parker, a pair of walks and two Panthers errors led to five runs on the way to a 9-5 East Union win.
“The darned weather has kept us off the field,” Lancers coach Brian Goulart said. “We haven’t had anything live — pitching, running — it’s been a slow start because of the weather. We’ve tried to hit a bit inside but that isn’t everything. We need to be outside and this is the first time our field has looked this good since last year. So, we were a little rusty, but then we got in our groove and everyone contributed.
“But our big rally was started by that catcher’s interference call. That is a prime example of our philosophy that everything matters. I’m proud of the girls. We just need to chip the rust off and get after it. We’ll be fine.”
The first four East Union batters — Danni Godoy, Molina, Parker and Chloe Agueda — were all 2 for 4 with Agueda knocking in two runs and scoring one and Parker (two runs) and Molina (run) each doubling and knocking in a run.
But it was Godoy (two RBI, two runs) who had the monster hit of the night when she hammered the first pitch of the Lancers fourth deep over the center-field fence to give East Union a 4-3 lead.
“My teammates were hyping me up before that at-bat,” Godoy said. “Because I didn’t have that good of an at-bat before that. They were getting my adrenaline going and making sure I stayed positive.”
Playing center field, Godoy chased down three long fly balls including the one to end the game.
“The other outfielder and I always want to see who can get there first,” Godoy said.
Shelby Cefalu went the distance in the circle for the East Union and sprinkled seven hits over the seven innings behind six strikeouts.
Things started rough for Cefalu. Holle Travao gave Modesto (1-0) a 1-0 lead in the first inning with a leadoff home run, and a solid single followed by a passed ball gave the Panthers a runner at second with no out and a run across. Right fielder Aguera then chased down a fly ball and got it to Cefalu who got the ball to third for a double play.
After the big Lancers fifth, Cefalu slammed the door on the Panthers with a 1-2-3 sixth, all via strikeout.
“I knew I had a rough start,” Cefalu said. “But coach Randy (Friend) came out to talk to me and settled me down and I knew I had to push through it for my team.”
An error gave Modesto the leadoff batter aboard in the fifth, but a 6-4-3 double play from Danielle Ramos to Molina to Avalos killed that threat.