SELMA - The Selma softball team had no trouble scoring runs against Hanford West, but the Bears couldn't keep pace with the Huskies.
A two-out two-run double in extra innings from the Huskies was the difference in Selma’s 13-11 loss to Hanford West in a Central Sequoia League game at Duran Diamond on Thursday.
The Bears (11-7, 5-4 CSL) went into the matchup as the fourth place team in the CSL standings. Selma coach Chris Tapia considered the game against the Huskies as a “must win” to keep their chances of contending for a league title.
“For us to keep pace in this league, it was absolutely a must win,” Tapia said. “One thing I told the girls is we just played two of the top 10 teams in the Valley and we lost by one and we lost by two. We’re competing, we’re competitive, we just have to get over the hump.”
Hanford West scored the go-ahead runs in the ninth inning with a two-run double from Josie Simas. The run scoring hit occurred with two outs in the inning. Jordyn Antuna and Alexis Ortiz reached base with two outs. Antuna reached first with single and Ortiz hit a double to give the Huskies two runners in scoring position.
“We couldn’t keep pace with the run scoring,” Tapia said. “I thought we did a good job adjusting to their change up this time around, last time they kind of got us with the off-speed pitch. I feel like we scored runs, but just not enough.”
Selma wasted no time producing runs in the first inning. The Bears went one time through the lineup and took a 6-0 lead. Chrissy Wallace knocked in the first run of the game with an RBI double. Genna Martinez and Maliyah Cerda each knocked in two runs with a single.
In the second inning, Hanford West cut Selma’s lead to three runs with an two-run single by Josie Simas and an RBI double from Bianca Castallanos. Simas’ two RBI single occurred with the bases loaded.
The Bears extended its lead 8-3 in the third inning with a two-run home run from Clarissa Moreno, but that would be Selma’s final lead of the game.
After both teams went scoreless in the third and fourth innings, Jayden Matheney had one of the biggest hits of the game for Hanford West. Matheny went yard with a grand slam that tied the game 8-8.
The Huskies started the inning with four-straight base runners on two singles and two walks before the grand slam. The second walk scored a run and made the score 8-4.
Hanford West gained its first lead of the game in sixth inning with a three-run home run from Allison Heffley. The three-run shot gave the Huskies a 11-8 lead.
From the third through fifth innings, Selma’s lineup was held scoreless. The Bears had a total of five base runners during that stretch. Two of those five runners were in scoring position at second base.
“I think we just needed to execute at batting a little more,” Martinez said. “We would’ve hit the ball and put it more in play and we could’ve came out with a win.”
Selma tied the score 11-11 in the sixth inning after a two-run single from Ashley Paz and Martinez scoring on a fielder’s choice.
After Bears pitcher Alyssa Grijalva held Hanford West scoreless in the seventh inning, Selma had a chance for a walk-off win.
In the bottom of the seventh inning, the Bears loaded the bases with two outs. Martinez and Paz reached base on a single and Garcia drew a walk. Wallace and Moreno both flied out to start the inning. Jadyn Hurtado came into the game as a pinch hitter and she was close to drawing a walk for a walk-off win.
Hurtado’s at-bat started with a 3-0 count, but it eventually went to 3-2. The game went into extra innings after Hurtado struck out on the payoff pitch.
Both teams were unsuccessful in driving in a runner on second in the eighth inning.
“That shows that we could come back to anything, but we need to execute in the end,” Moreno said.
Selma last played in the Tulare Softball Classic that was hosted by Tulare Union and Tulare Western high schools on Saturday and Monday. The Bears started the tournament on with victories over Mission Oak and Orange Cove. Selma defeated Mission Oak 7-6 win, then the Bears beat Orange Cove 9-0.
Selma has three games remaining on its regular-season schedule. The Bears next game will be on the road against Exeter in a CSL game on April 24. After, Selma will host Immanuel on April 26 and then the Bears will close the regular season at Kingsburg on May 2.