SELMA - The Kingsburg softball team was double-trouble for Selma.
Seven extra-base hits (six doubles, one home run) and 14 total led the Vikings to a 10-3 win over Selma on the road on May 8. The victory clinched a share of a Central Sequoia League title with Dinuba - who won 1-0 against Exeter on the same day - and it was the first time Kingsburg defeated the Bears since the 2014 season.
For Vikings’ starting pitcher Vanessa Berg - the only Kingsburg senior to start the game - said it felt “amazing” to defeat Selma.
“I’ve been waiting since my freshman year to beat Selma in varsity,” Berg said. “So that’s a great feeling.”
Outside of the third inning, Berg shutout the rival squad throughout the game. The Bears scored three runs in the third inning after Kingsburg jumped to a 6-0 lead.
After Selma’s three-run inning in the third, Berg settled down and tossed a complete game, allowing two singles for the rest of the contest.
“I just had to stay calm,” Berg said. “I knew that the team had my back.”
As for the Vikings’ lineup, the girls didn’t waste any time scoring in this one that started with a two-run double with two outs by Madison Alves for a 2-0 lead. In the second inning, Kingsburg scored four runs with a two-run double by Carla Duarte and a run scoring double from Marissa Montelongo. Marissa Gonzalez scored on an error during the inning.
The Bears got offensive production from Aly Cerda and Dominique Trevino. Cerda knocked in two runs on a double and Trevino drove in a run on a single in the third inning.
The rest of the runs for the Vikings came in the fifth inning that was capped off with a two-run home run by Brianna Vela. Montelongo knock in two more runs and Alves drove in another during the inning. Both of the girls hits in the inning were doubles and that’s all they hit in the game.
Montelongo hit two doubles going 2-for-4 and Alves had three hitting 3-for-4 to finish the game.
Alves - a three-year varsity member and a junior - was another girl on the team who said it “felt good” to beat Selma. She added that the team didn’t get anxious before the game.
“We were just pretty loose,” Alves said. “We weren’t stressed out about the game, we were just playing our game.”
Kingsburg entered the CIF Central Section Division II playoffs as No. 3 seed with a bye and start its playoff run in the quarterfinals on May 18.
For the Bears, head coach Amber Green said it was a tough loss for her team and not putting the ball on ground was a difference.
“We just got really out-hit today,” Green said. “I felt like they were aggressive on our pitching and they just executed what they needed to do and we didn’t answer. We left a lot of people on base and we popped a lot of balls up.”
Selma won’t get a league title, but the Bears qualified for the CIF Central Section Division III playoffs as No. 2 seed and will have a first-round bye. The girls will host their quarterfinals playoff game on May 18.
With a majority of the team having playoff experience with Valley championship appearances, Green is confident that the girls could make another deep playoff run.
“It’s disappointing that we don’t have that league title to ride on like we usually do,” Green said, “but it’s a new season and everything is wiped clean”
The Bears failed to clinch a league title for the first time since the 2014 season and were the reigning three-time champs of the CSL coming into the season. From 2015-17, Selma won 30-straight league games and extended it to 35 this season. After the streak was snapped by Exeter on April 27, the Bears went 2-3 to finished the season.
Green said it was a “competitive” league season and every team has its share of talent.
“They’re used to sailing through league and that didn’t happen this year,” Green said. “I’m interested to see how they bounce back and respond …because they had something taken away from them.”