Bruins right back in it |

Bruins right back in it

STOCKTON – Last year, Bear River wrapped up its first softball section title in school history with back-to-back wins over East Union – ending the 2007 campaign with a 28-4 record.

This year, Bear River must beat those same Lancers in back-to-back matchups today for their second straight section title – entering the championship round with a 28-3 record.

“We have a chance to better it,” Zauner said of the season record, “but we’re not going to make it any worse.”

The defending champs are now in the one-and-done domain, after falling to East Union 4-0 in Friday’s winner bracket final at Arnaiz Stadium in Stockton. Lancers ace Erin Arevalo, who entered the postseason with 428 strikeouts, racked up 13 Ks against the Bruins and allowed only a pair of hits to Katie Mathis and Tera Reason.

But back the Bruins came, claming a 4-1 win over Rio Linda Friday night for the berth back into the championship round. Back-to-back bunts from Courtney Ceo and Katie Mathis set the table in the first inning, as Jenna Wermes gave the Bruins a 1-0 lead on a ground out.

Two innings later, Jasmine McGown drilled a triple to right field and then scored on a passed ball for the go-ahead run. McGown also had an infield single in the fifth inning during a rally that pushed across the Bruins final two runs.

Kelly Shepard picked up the win after going the distance in two straight games in high temperatures.

“She’s worn down,” Zauner said Friday night. “She only had two strikeouts in (the Rio Linda) game.”

Shepard struck out eight in her rematch with East Union’s Arevalo in Friday’s first game. The Lancers broke a scoreless tie open in the bottom of the third inning, when freshman Brittany Lamar drilled a two-run single to left field and left runners on second and third.

A single from Kourtni McCall pushed across another run for a 3-0 lead. It looked as though East Union would lead 4-0 after a sacrifice fly to left, but the runner was called out at third for leaving the base too early.

Over the past two seasons, Bear River has ran off a 56-5 record, two straight Pioneer Valley League championships and possibly a repeat section title, as well. No matter the outcome of the title game, the Bruin seniors know they’ve been a part of something special along the way.

“It’s something you can always look back at,” said McGown. “To accomplish something like all of this … they’re just great memories to have.”

To contact Sports Editor Brian Hamilton, e-mail or call 477-4240.

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