Gregori softball beats Modesto with walk-off home run (with video)

jcortez@modbee.comApril 17, 2014 

Gregori H.S. junior catcher Samantha Shaffer talks about her walk-off homer that gave the Jaguars a 6-4 win over Modesto in an MMC game Thursday, April 17, 2014, in Modesto, Calif.

MODESTO BEE

Gregori’s Samantha Shaffer smacked a three-run, walk-off homer in the bottom of the seventh inning to give the Jaguars a come-from-behind 6-4 victory over Modesto on Thursday at Gregori High School.

The win pushes the Jags to 8-1 in Modesto Metro Conference action, tied with Enochs (8-1) for the league’s top spot, and a game and a half ahead of Modesto (6-2).

“I was up (in the count) 3-1 and I was sitting on dropball,” said Shaffer, who was 2 for 4 and drove in five of Gregori’s six runs on the day. “I got what I was looking for.”

And she crushed it to dead center.

“I will take a game like this over a blowout any time,” said the Jags’ first-year coach Alannah Johns. “It means more to the girls.

“I’m so proud of Samantha, but this was a total team win.”

Trailing 4-3, Ashley McBay led off the bottom of the seventh with a walk but was out at second on Nikki Alexander’s fielder’s choice. Melanie Menor was safe on an error – putting runners on first and second with one out – before Breanna Menor grounded out to pitcher Jasmine Hill, setting the stage for left-handed hitting Shaffer.

Modesto seemed to have the game in control when it took a 4-0 lead in the top of the fourth.

Becca Pridmore started the rally with a single to left, and she was bunted over to second by Yolanda Sandoval. Marina Figueroa walked to put runners on first and second, and Cassandra Sexson doubled to plate Pridmore. Jasmine Hill then bunted her way on to load the bases. Carrie Balzar grounded to second and Figueroa was cut down at home. That brought up Monica Gonzalez, who drove in Sexson and Hill with a single to center. When the ball was misplayed, it allowed Balzar to come in for the fourth run of the frame.

“After that inning, I told the girls, ‘Don’t let this beat you. Come back and fight,’ ” Johns said.

Modesto pitcher Jasmine Hill seemed to take the fight right out of the Jags, however, with shutdown innings in the fourth and fifth. But Gregori finally broke through with three in the sixth, the big blow being a two-run double by Shaffer. Breanna Menor drove in the other run with a single to left.

Gregori ace Madison Marsh, despite giving up four in the fourth, allowed just three hits while striking out nine. Hill fanned three and gave up eight hits.

Despite the loss, Modesto is still in the thick of the race for the MMC title. But could a devastating loss such as this affect the Panthers’ psyche?

“I hope not,” said first-year Modesto coach Megan Ramsey. “It was a really hard fought game, and the girls made a lot of nice plays and had some big hits. We’ve got the Tracy tournament coming up, so hopefully we work everything out up there and get over this.”

Bee staff writer Joe Cortez can be reached at jcortez@modbee.com or (209) 578-2380. Follow him on Twitter @ModBeePreps.

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