Softball: Exeter’s win over Immanuel pulls them within one game of first place


By Patrick Dillon @PDillon_SGN
EXETER – The race for the Central Sequoia League (CSL) title tightened up last Friday. The Monarchs continued their recent resurgence during the second half of league play with a 10-0 win over the Immanuel Eagles on Friday, May 4. Their third win in a row. Then they got some help from Dinuba. The Emperors handed the Selma Bears their second league loss this season 8-2. That outcome has created a three-way tie for first in the CSL with Exeter being one game out in second.
“We would love to win the CSL,” Exeter head coach Karen Zeibak said. “We have such a tough league with so many higher division teams.”
Since Exeter (23-4, 5-3) got back to their winning ways they have outscored their opponents 22-3. In their game against Immanuel (12-12, 1-7) it was over early. Exeter jumped out to a quick 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning. Back-to-back singles by Corinne Acosta and Julieanna Rocha put runners in scoring position for Nicole Rocha. Off a throwing error Rocha reached first safely and scored both runners. Later a double to left field by Kate Coulter drove Rocha in.
“Our defense was on and everyone hit tonight so it was
Pitcher Brooklyn Blackmon avoids third baseman Corinne Acosta a she catches a fly ball. Photo by Patrick Dillon.

Pitcher Brooklyn Blackmon avoids third baseman Corinne Acosta a she catches a fly ball. Photo by Patrick Dillon.

a total team win tonight,” Julieanna said.
On the rare occasion the Monarch defense had to make a play they committed no errors. The rarity of them having to make a play was mostly because of the dominance of Brooklyn Blackmon in the circle. The freshman got her sixteenth win of the season by striking out seven. She only walked one and allowed three hits.
Exeter ended their two game slide with a 12-3 win over the Central Valley Christian Cavaliers earlier last week. Julieanna led the team going 4-4 with four RBIs and scored three runs.
If the season ended after Friday’s game the Monarchs would be awarded the number two seed in the CIF Division IV playoffs. It would give them home field advantage throughout the playoffs until the finals. All softball CIF Valley Championship games are held at Fresno States’ Margie Wright Diamond. 
“Our ultimate goal and what we use all of our games for is to do well in the valley playoffs,” Zeibak said.
A team which the Monarchs could see in the finals is the Dos Palos Broncos (23-2, 9-0). Earlier in the season Exeter lost 6-1 to Dos Palos in the opening game of the Buchanan Tournament. It was the only loss Exeter suffered in non-league play.
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In order to remain in contention for the CSL and get a high seed in the postseason Exeter will have to keep on winning. This week that statement will be easier said than done. Last night they played the Kingsburg Vikings. Final of which happened after press time. In their first meeting Exeter suffered their worst loss in league 9-3. Friday night Exeter closes out regular season play against the Dinuba Emperors at 4 p.m. The Emperors also defeated the Monarchs in their first game 5-3.
“We are hoping to continue to play well so we can stay at number two cause that would be nice to stay here at home,” Zeibak said.