Tigers' softball team has blend of the young and the experienced as they plan to battle for WYL title

By Ed Martin, Editor
Lemoore's Megan Van Allen, in a game a year ago, is urged to run home by Tiger Coach Dionne Ewing. Van Allen, a senior returns for the Tigers.
Lemoore's Megan Van Allen, in a game a year ago, is urged to run home by Tiger Coach Dionne Ewing. Van Allen, a senior returns for the Tigers.
Gary Feinstein/Feinsteinfotos

The Lemoore varsity girls’ softball team is off to a good start. The Tigers came up with a run in the bottom of the seventh to beat to beat Tulare Union 1-0 in the season opener Feb. 22 in Lemoore. And they plan on winning more games with a blend of young and old – though at this stage in their lives – young is a relative term considering the players are all in their teens.

The youngest include a freshman, Madison Martinez, who made an impact in only her first game as a Tiger. “She got the first hit of the game,” said Tiger Coach Dionne Ewing, starting her 12th year as Lemoore’s varsity coach. “Their pitcher was throwing a no-hitter, and she (Martinez) got the first hit, a double. She also had a diving catch for a great play too.”

LHS 2019 Softball Schedule

Toss in some talented returning players like Sierra Phelps, Megan Van Allen, and Susannah Campos, and you just might have the makings of a successful team. Phelps scored the winning run in the bottom of the seventh.

“We also have a new sophomore pitcher who pitched the whole game against Tulare,” said Ewing. Leslie Segura, the freshman, plays other positions too. Segura went the distance for Lemoore, giving up just four hits, two walks and striking out four.

Tulare’s Mia Reynolds had a solid game as well striking out 10 Tigers and allowing just three hits, those hits off the bats of Martinez, Phelps, and Jacky Esquer.

The Tigers will need a few more hits and continue their solid pitching to improve upon last year’s 12-17 record and a 4-8 West Yosemite League mark, and Ewing is excited about the prospects. “The biggest thing with this group of girls is they’re very strong together – as one,” she said. “Even if they’re not playing, they’re cheering on their teammates. I enjoy them. I’m having a good time coaching them, and I think we’re going to have a really good year.”

The Tigers were scheduled to play Tuesday at Dinuba High, but it appears that the weather may put a damper on that possibility.

The Tigers have plenty of tournament action on the horizon, including their participation in the Bakersfield Driller Softball Tournament that begins March 7. They’ll also play in the annual Madera South Softball Tournament which begins March 14.

In April the Tigers will play in the Tulare Classic Softball Tournament between West Yosemite League action. Lemoore opens league play on March 22 with a home game against Redwood and on March 29 will travel to Visalia for a game against Golden West. Both games begin at 4:30 p.m.

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