Nataly Espinoza puts the ball over the plate for a strike.
May 23, 2019 | View PDF
For the second straight year, the Kern Valley Broncos ended the Shafter High Lady Generals' softball season in the semifinals of the Valley Championship tournament. The Lady Generals, who came into the tournament seeded No. 2, lost the semifinal game to Kern Valley, 5-2.
The Lady Generals were dominant this season, going 19-5 overall, and dropping only one game in SSL play -- a 6-5 loss to Chavez High School. Shafter's other losses were to SYL powerhouses Ridgeview, Stockdale, Frontier and Centennial.
The Lady Generals outscored their opponents for the season by a total of 270-64. With powerful pitching from Jasmin Torres, Nataly Espinosa and Katrina Trejo, the Lady Generals won by the four-inning "mercy rule" in 14 of their 24 games this season.
Shafter started tournament play with a 17-6 win over Riverdale in the quarterfinal game, before dropping their next game to the Broncos. The Broncos won last year's semifinal with a 6-2 victory. On Tuesday's game, Shafter could not get their bats going as they didn't get a runner past second base for the first five innings. Meanwhile, Kern Valley managed five runs during that time, putting the Lady Generals in a 5-0 hole.
Shafter's bats woke up in the sixth inning, with Jasmin Torres starting the rally by getting to first after being hit by a pitch. Nataly Espinoza followed that with a hit to right field. Katrina Trejo then pounded a hit to right center, scoring the Lady Generals' first run. Shafter added another run when Natalie Herrera slid under the catcher's tag at home plate, cutting the lead to 5-2. Unfortunately, the rally was stopped, and the Broncos closed the game out in the seventh for the victory.