Despite a sluggish first three innings, the Dinuba High girls softball team woke up just in time as the Emperors knocked off Centennial-Bakersfield, 4-1, in a non-league game Monday in Bakersfield.

Dinuba captured its third win in a row and improves to 14-1 overall while the Golden Hawks fall to 5-8.

Coach Bryan Patterson said the team came out a little flat to start the game.

“The travel and not playing a game before that, we were a little bit flat,” Patterson said.

Down 1-0 heading into the top half of the fourth, Kayla Villareal hit a one-out single in the top half of the fourth for the Emperors first hit of the game.

“Their pitcher was a little slower and it took us awhile to get going,” Patterson said.

Jordynn Acevedo followed with a two-out single as Patterson inserted pinch-runner Madison Bautista for Acevedo. Villareal scored on a single from Alexa Garcia and Faith Hernandez delivered a double to left center scoring Bautista and Garcia for a 3-1 lead.

In the top of the fifth inning, Faith Hernandez belted a solo home run that pushed the lead to 4-1.

“She cleared the fence by about 20-feet,” Patterson said.

That would be more than enough offense for starter Kirsten Martinez. Martinez did not allow a hit through the first four innings.

Centennial’s only hit of the game was a bunt single in the bottom of the fifth inning, according to Patterson.

On Thursday in a key Central Sequoia League game at Kingsburg, Dinuba posted a 10-2 win handing the Vikings their first league loss.

The Emperors roughed up Kingsburg’s sophomore starter Kayla Medrano for 10 hits as DHS scored four runs in the second and two runs in the fourth and fifth innings before Medarano was replaced by freshman Mia Estrada.

Villareal scored three runs and had two hits while A. Garcia had a double and three RBI’s. Juliana Flores had 2 RBI’s and two hits.

Martinez spaced out eight hits with four strikeouts and had three hits.

Also making key contributions were Erica Flores, who was 3-for-4 with an RBI, and Acevedo, who had two hits and RBI.

Dinuba opened the week with a 11-0 win over Immanuel on Tuesday in a game called after the fifth inning.

Acevedo drove in a season-high five runs on a pair of doubles and scored a run. Villareal and J. Flores had 2 RBI’s apiece.

E. Flores picked up her first win of the season in the circle tossing a 1-hitter with 11 strikeouts.

Dinuba and top-ranked Buchanan will try once again to play their originally scheduled game from Mar. 9. The game is rescheduled for noon on Saturday at Buchanan. Dinuba will then resume CSL play at Exeter on Tuesday.

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