Monache blows by San Joaquin Memorial 19-0

“Every one hits” is always a nice motivational saying before your team’s at-bat, but when it comes to Monache it’s not just a saying.

Not only did every Marauder in the starting lineup record a hit, but they also scored at least one run in Tuesday’s 19-0, five-inning rout of visiting San Joaquin Memorial. 

Monache (3-0) softball finished with a whopping 18 hits and it all started with small ball. 

“Everybody knows we can hit bombs but against good teams, we’re going to have to be able to execute small ball; against good pitchers,” MHS head coach Dave Koontz said. “And we’ve got good pitchers (in league)...We’re not going to be able to smoke the ball on every pitcher. When we go to that next level of teams, we’ve got to be willing and able to play small ball. (Memorial) gave us small ball. Their corners were back and they let us play small ball.”

In the team’s first three at-bats, Ana Rivas, Alexandria “Mia” Rivas, and Kailyn Castle all put down successful bunts with errors and a pickle situation during Castle’s resulting in the Rivas’ sisters scoring the first runs of the game. 

But the team didn’t just bunt, they hit. Monache went through the whole lineup and scored five more runs to take a 7-0 lead before recording the first out. 

At the plate, both Mia Rivas and Sonia Castillo went 3-for-3. Rivas was a home run shy of a cycle and finished with a single, double, triple, walk, and two runs scored. Castillo had a monster two-run, RBI-double that put the team ahead 12-0 in the bottom of the second. She also scored a run and had two more RBIs.

Six Marauders had extra-base hits including Jalene Villareal (double), Jessica Batres (triple) Berenize Bermudez and Morgan Hunter. Bermudez went 2-for-3 with a double, three runs scored and an RBI. Hunter scored three runs and also went 2-for-3 while knocking through a triple, home run and three RBIs.

And Hunter’s big day wasn’t only at the plate. Pitching in her first season since tearing her ACL in July 2019, Hunter continued to throw well. The rookie threw five innings, allowing only four hits and one walk while striking out eight. She retired Memorial’s lineup in order to finish the game. 

“That was her best outing,” Koontz said. “She was pretty dominant. She pitched everything right. I really enjoy calling pitches for her when she’s pitching it like that. And she’s starting to get her speed back. Today I would say she’s throwing 60 (mph).”

The Marauders led 9-0 after the first inning, then scored three runs apiece in the second and third innings before closing out the fourth with four runs. With their large lead, Koontz was able to get more players in, including Pricilla Valencia. 

Valencia drew a walk and scored in the fourth inning but had her biggest moment on defense. Playing center field in the top of the fourth, Valencia caught a fly ball for the second out then came up throwing on the next batter’s hit to her and threw a runner out at home to close the inning.

“That throw from Pricilla Valencia, that’s how we practice,” Koontz said. “She blew them down. She gunned it.”

Prior to the game, Koontz and the Marauders honored the late umpire Rainer “Wink” Winckelmann who passed away last summer. The Winckelmann family attended and wore umpire shirts for Wink, while the Marauders team wore blue ribbons with W’s on them to pay their respects.

“Wink — one of the people that I can honestly say, I didn’t just like him, I respected him,” Koontz said. The two met 30 years ago at an umpire clinic Winckelmann put on. “I was very blessed to meet him at that time”

“Over the years, I’ve been coaching here at Monache for 26 years, and over those years he was one of my favorite umpires,” Koontz said. “I’m not known as an arguer with umpires and he knew that. We appreciated each other, I respected his calls...Even when Wink made a bad call, he never did makeups. That’s a sign of integrity. And I always felt that Wink had as much integrity as any umpire I ever worked with.” 

Winckelmann’s daughter, Jamie, also spoke about her father and said it was nice to see that her father had family within the job he loved doing. 

“I realized he had a family everywhere,” Jamie said. “And that the coaches of the teams, the players, all the other umpires. Everything that he went too, it was like a second family and it’s been really nice to get to know everybody.”

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