Clovis News: Sports

County topples City in softball all-star game

Immanuel High pitcher Liz Isaak stood on the field, pointed her camera at the scoreboard and snapped one last picture, as if the moment won't be ingrained in her memory.

On the board, the numbers told the story of Wednesday's City/County All-Star softball game before an overflow crowd at Clovis North: County 2, City 0.

Isaak earned the victory as the starting pitcher. She threw three shutout innings, allowing two hits and a walk while striking out four, as the County won for the first time since 2004.

"This is cool coming in as the small schools and winning," said Isaak, who will keep playing at Cuesta College in San Luis Obispo next school year.

City schools have the larger enrollments, greater financial support and presumably better players.

But not this night, especially with Isaak and three other pitchers limiting the City to two hits.

"I don't think they were expecting us to be as good as we were," Isaak said.

The County needed one productive inning to get the job done.

BreeAnna Loera of Caruthers, with two outs and two strikes, drove a pitch from Central's Amanda Santiago to the gap in right center for a two-run single in the fourth inning.

"Knowing there was two outs, I knew I had to do something," the County outfielder said.

"I was so nervous, and their pitcher was fast and I wasn't used to that speed. I just tried to get my bat on the ball."

Washington's Tori Rich led the County with two hits. Ashley Keener of Washington and Madera's Briana Armiento had the other hits for the County.

Meanwhile, County pitchers continued dominating City hitters. Liberty-Madera Ranchos' Kayla Barber (two innings), Kerman's Chelsea Weber (one) and Lemoore's Emily Cloyes (the last three) didn't allow a hit and combined for seven strikeouts.

Only one City batter reached third, and that was Miranda Gonzales of Fresno after a double in the fourth.

"It's an all-star game, and we geared our pitchers for certain hitters. And we guessed right," County coach Tony Stefano of Kerman said.

"Our two catchers [Reedley's Priscilla Davilla and Armiento] called the pitches and called a good game."

It appeared the County was in for a rough night facing City starter Geneva Perez of Edison. She no-hit the County through three innings, throwing just 28 pitches. It would have been to the City's advantage to let her go the full nine, but this was an all-star game and everyone plays.

"I don't know about nine. That's a lot, and I was just getting back into shape this week," Perez said.

"I did my best, though, and had fun. It was incredible being on a team with girls I've played with and against my whole life."

Madera's Armiento received the Jenny Eller Inspirational Player Award, and $100 scholarships went to team MVPs Loera of the County and Gonzales of the City.