FRESNO - In a matchup showcasing the Valley’s top seniors from the past year, the County scored a combined seven runs in the seventh and eighth innings to a claim a 7-4 victory in the 38th Annual City/County All-Star Softball Game at Margie Wright Diamond on Wednesday, June 19.
Notable members of this year’s County team were Carla Duarte and Madison Alves from Kingsburg and Dom Trevino of Selma.
All three girls scored for the County during a six-run frame in the seventh inning. Duarte and Trevino scored on a bases-clearing triple by Hanford West’s Josie Simas that gave the County a 5-3 lead. Lemoore’s Sierra Phelps was the other player to scored on the Simas triple. Earlier in the inning, Alves scored on a sacrifice fly from Kerman’s Ellie Montalvo, which at the time cut the City’s lead 3-2.
Trevino scored the County’s final run of game on an RBI single from Phelps in the eighth inning.
“I think those girls [Alves, Duarte and Trevino] are special girls. I had those girls in high school in travel ball,” County head coach Russ Heffley said. “To see them succeed, it’s awesome to see them do well. I’m extremely happy with that and I couldn’t ask for more from them to come up with a win in their last high school game.”
The City went up 2-0 by scoring a run in the first and third innings, but both scores were unearned. Buchanan’s Claire Buckley scored the City’s first inning run on a ground ball error. Edison’s Ciweya Tennison scored the City’s second run on another County error.
In the fifth inning, the City extended its lead to 3-0 on an RBI groundout by Clovis North’s Sierra Freeman, who knocked in McLane’s April Xiong on the play.
The County began it’s six-run rally with Firebaugh’s Marissa Gutierrez reaching on an error, which was followed by a single from Alves. Gutierrez advanced to third and Alves went to second on a passed ball. Moments later, Alves advanced to third after Gutierrez scored on a passed ball for the County’s first run of the game.
After Alves scored on Montalvo’s sacrifice fly, the County loaded the bases with a walk from Morgan Sewell, a Phelps single, and Immanuel’s Brianna Duncan advancing to first on a walk.
Duarte and Trevino were called upon as courtesy runners for Sewell and Duncan before Simas came up to the plate. After her three-run triple, Simas went on to score on an RBI groundout from Kerman’s Alyssa Acosta to give the County a 6-3 lead.
“They just started tattooing the ball,” Heffley said. “You get girls a second at-bat and maybe a third at-bat, by that time they’re seeing the ball a little bit better and they’re putting the ball in play.”
Trevino, Duarte and Alves went for a combined 4-for-5 and they each had two plate appearances. Alves went 2-for-2 with two singles and a run scored. Duarte scored a run while hitting 1-for-2 with an infield single. Trevino scored twice, going 1-for-1 with a single. Trevino was hit by pitch in her second at-bat in the eighth inning.
Even though they played on rival teams, Trevino enjoyed playing her final high school game together with Duarte.
“We’re enemies during school ball, but we all love each other,” Trevino said. “When we play together, it’s better.”
Duarte enjoyed her experience playing with Trevino and multiple County all-stars, most of whom were her travel ball teammates growing up.
“It was for fun, playing with my teammates that I’ve played with since I was 11” Duarte said.
Alves also enjoyed playing in the all-star game and appreciated the opportunity to finish her prep career with and against a plethora of talent.
“Just getting to finish our high school career with everybody was fun,” Alves said.
Alves and Duarte were in Heffley’s starting lineup while Trevino received her first at-bat in the fourth inning. Duarte played the right and left field positions while Trevino played center. Alves spent all her time on the field as a shortstop.
It was Alves’ and Duarte’s final time playing together before they continue their softball careers at the next level. Trevino represented the orange and black one last time before moving on to college.
Alves will continue her softball career at the University of Redlands, a NCAA Division III institution in Southern California. Duarte will attend Holy Names University, an NAIA school in Oakland, where she will join former Selma Bear Aly Cerda.. Trevino will join the softball team at Northwest Nazarene, a school in Nampa, Idaho that competes in the NCAA Division II level.
Simas was named the MVP of the County team after going 1-for-3 with three RBIs and a run scored. Xiong was awarded as the City’s MVP after going 1-for-1 with a double and a run scored. Simas will become college teammates with Trevino at Northwest Nazarene.
The Jenny Eller Most Inspirational Player Award was received by the County’s Emma Mulligan (Reedley) and the City’s Claire Buckley (Buchanan).
Madera softball coach Judy Shaubach was this year’s inductee of the City/County All-Star Softball Hall of Fame and threw out the first pitch before the game.