Danielle Lung was on her game, and Clovis High is back atop the Tri-River Athletic Conference softball standings.
Lung fired a two-hitter as the host Cougars, The Fresno Bee’s Central Section No. 2-ranked team, edged No. 1 Buchanan1-0 Monday to forge a three-way tie for first place in the TRAC among Clovis, the Bears and Clovis East, all at 3-1.
Both of Buchanan’s hits came in the seventh as Spencer Sansom and Starr Vang opened with consecutive singles. But Lung got Faith Rousey on a fielder’s choice, struck out Anni Raley and retired Katie January on a fly to left for the final out.
“It didn’t bother me – I just do what I have to do to get it done,” Lung said of losing a no-hit bid. “I was focused on throwing hard and hitting my spots and getting the game over with. I have trust in my defense and trust in myself to stay confident and keep throwing strikes.
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“I knew (Buchanan) was in first place, so I was telling myself that I had to get the job done.”
I knew (Buchanan) was in first place, so I was telling myself that I had to get the job done.
Clovis pitcher Danielle Lung on her two-hitter against Buchanan
Lung was perfect for 4 1/3 innings before issuing a seven-pitch walk to Rousey. The sophomore right-hander also yielded a full-count walk to Sienna Swain in the top of the sixth.
Lung, who pitched a no-hitter as Clovis beat Central 2-0 in last season’s Division I championship, finished with 10 strikeouts.
“When we’ve really needed something and the stakes are harder or bigger, she comes up with what we need,” Clovis coach Mike Noel said. “She’s not a secret anymore. She’s a dominant pitcher, and we can count on that.”
Clovis (18-3) gave Lung the only run she would need in the second inning as Jordyn Martinez led off by getting hit by a Molly Millar pitch. Pinch-runner Coryn Chiaramonte advanced to second on a wild pitch and scored on Emily Puente’s double on a ball Buchanan right fielder Hunter Sansom raced back to the fence to get a glove on, but couldn’t secure.
The Bears (17-5) entered in sole possession of first place in the TRAC at 3-0.
“It’s always important to beat the team ahead of you,” Noel said. “We had some goals in mind today, and the girls responded to what they needed to do. They rose to the occasion.”
The defending TRAC champion Cougars play at Clovis West at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday and then get a rematch with Clovis East, the only team from the Central Section to beat Clovis this season, at 6:30 p.m. Friday. The Timberwolves got to Lung for eight hits in a 4-2, eight-inning victory over the Cougars on April 12.
Millar, also a sophomore, finished with a four-hitter for Buchanan (17-5). She had five strikeouts.