s 6 to 27

Emily Fortaney throws to Madison Lopez on first.

Danessa Castro left the field April 2 alongside her dad, both dodging fat raindrops.

Officials called the softball game against Bullard High that afternoon after the third inning. Wind picked up in the top of the third inning as the visiting Knights added five runs to pad their lead 9-0. Then thunder followed.

A bank of clouds in varying hues of gray appeared to the north, and one of the spectators said his brother texted that Clovis just experienced a deluge. 

“We’re going to reschedule,” said Brian Penner, Sanger High athletic director.

Coach Erica Pennington gathered her team in the dugout as droplets fell in increasing density for some words of encouragement. Then it began to hail.

As members of the team collected gear and brought in the bases, Pennington said precipitation had fallen during a previous game with Bullard. “Ruined by weather,” she said.

The game resumed the next day. But the Apaches’ prospects didn’t improve. Bullard scored another nine runs in the top of the sixth inning. Final score was 18-0.

Knights pitcher Melina “Mel” Anguiano had a lot to do with that. She fanned five Apache batters that first afternoon and dispatched the rest with the help of her outfield. She returned for the second round to finish her game, collecting a total of 12 strikeouts and a no-hitter.

“Mel is a solid pitcher in her senior year,” said Bullard coach Joseph Lee via email. “Last year, she was injured but has returned. This team is pretty solid, with a couple of Division I (college) commits.” 

The win elevated Bullard to an 11-3 overall record. Sanger fell to 8-9.

“The pitcher’s good,” said Alyssa Montejano, who made a highlight-worthy diving catch behind first base to close out the second inning. “I don’t know. Today just wasn’t our day.”

Montejano said she landed on her arm. She said she was OK, just ready to get back out and notch some wins.

Castro said she had the same frame of mind. 

Pennington said the team will work on what it needs to.

And her Apaches did, turning around a grim week on Friday with a 7-6 win against Edison.

The reporter can be contacted by email at nemethfeatures@gmail.com or by phone at the Herald at (559) 875-2511.

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