Sonora High School missed a chance to tie the game in the bottom of the sixth inning, and Hilmar pulled away in the top of the seventh to secure a 5-2 non-league softball victory over the Wildcats yesterday at Vikki Wagoner Field.
Sonora (2-6) had runners on second and third with one out in the sixth with the score 2-1 in Hilmar's favor, but a popout and a groundout ended the threat. Two Sonora errors, a wild pitch, and several ringing Hilmar hits results in three runs and a 5-1 lead for the Yellowjackets moments later.
"We're right there, but we have an inning or two like that every game," Sonora coach Nick Parry said.
A couple misplays in the outfield led to to Hilmar runs in the first, but pitcher Kari Martinez held the fort and Sonora came back with a run in fifth as Natalie Baldrige reached on an infield single and eventually scored on a groundout by Margaret Hemphill.
The Sonora sixth began with Jenna Diede reaching on an infield error and escalated when Kayla Brawley hit a blooper that fell about a foot fair down the leftfield line for a double. As Baldrige headed for third, the ball glanced of a Hilmar field and appeared to cross the out-of-play line. Had the ball been ruled out of play, Baldrige would have been allowed to score the tying run.
However, neither umpire had a clear view of the play, Baldrige had to stay at third, and Hilmar pitcher Megan McDonough wriggled out of the jam.
The big out was the second one, which McDonough got on a pop to first after a long, tense battle with Sonora hitter Vanessa Clark. McDonough used everything in her repertoire rise, drop, changeup and Clark fouled off pitch after pitch before finally being retired.