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Bruin Softball Squad Drops Heartbreaker In Escalon
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When two prep softball teams with fantastic pitching reach an impasse, the first mistake often decides the contest.

That was the case on Friday as the Riverbank and Escalon High softball teams carried a 0-0 deadlock into the sixth inning with Trans-Valley League championship and postseason qualification on the line.

Escalon's Caitlin Brooks and Riverbank's Carlye Avey had frustrated hitters since the opening frame, but the Cougars caught a break when a lazy grounder slipped past Riverbank's infield in the bottom of the sixth.

Two doubles later, Escalon had nabbed a pair of unearned runs. Brooks closed strong to give the Lady Cougars a 2-0 win and a 7-1 league record (first).

Riverbank (4-4 TVL, 7-6 overall) now trails third place Hughson by one game and will see the Huskies at home today (Wednesday, April 28) at 4 p.m.

If Riverbank can work past Hughson and close the league campaign strong, they will be in prime position to qualify as the third seed from the TVL into the Sac-Joaquin Section Division V playoffs.

The Escalon game nearly gave the Bruins a push in that direction, but Cougar hitters were able to see the plate despite delivering only four hits with no walks or hit batters.

Brooks tossed a no-hitter but could not work around Amanda Lopez, Aimee Lopez, Ashley Rogers and Victoria Sandoval all who advanced to first.

"It's kind of sad to get this close and lose, but I am so happy with our outfield and the way Carlye has been pitching," Riverbank coach Cassi Ross said. "This gives us something to build upon."

Riverbank was forced to postpone last week's meeting with Ripon, and has seven games remaining on the league docket. Four them will come against the top three teams in the league standings, leaving little room for mistakes if the Bruins are to see extra contests this year.