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SHS spring sports playoffs under way

The Shafter Generals' spring sports teams have entered the playoff phase of their seasons. The Shafter Swimming team competed in the Central Section Valley Championships at Clovis West High School Swimming Complex. They had a relay team and a couple of individuals qualify for the event. They came away with one medal, as freshman Josephine Martin won a sixth place medal in the 100m backstroke.

Martin actually swam a faster time in her preliminary round, qualifying for the finals in fourth position. Her finals swim was still a great one and earned her the first medal for a freshman Shafter swimmer in over a decade.

On the softball field, the Generals took on Sierra Pacific in the first round of the playoffs. Shafter came into the playoffs seeded 7th. They were much higher earlier in the month, with an undefeated record in the SSL. But, late season losses to Taft and Wasco, both in Shafter's Division IV in the playoffs, dropped the Generals to 7th, with Taft and Wasco coming in at number 4 and number 3 respectively.

But, the Lady Generals took care of Sierra Pacific in their first round on Tuesday, 10-8. Shafter saw the visitors go up in the game early, scoring one run in the first inning, another run in the third inning and exploded for six runs in the fourth inning, taking an 8-1 lead. Facing the premature end of their season, the Lady Generals' bats woke up in a big way, scoring four runs in the fifth inning, cutting the lead to 8-5. In the sixth inning, with sophomore pitcher Maddison Ortiz taking over from senior Serenity Angulo, the Lady Generals held Sierra Pacific scoreless the rest of the way. In the sixth inning, Shafter took the lead with a huge inning, scoring five runs, taking a 10-8 lead. Shafter then closed the game out in the seventh inning, giving them the victory. For the Lady Generals, Angulo went 3-4 at the plate, getting 5 RBIs, including two doubles. Sophomore Mikayla Weller went 2-3 at the plate, scoring two runs. This squad, with only three seniors in the starting lineup, showed a maturity beyond their years in gutting out this win. Facing a daunting deficit, the Lady Generals answered with one of their biggest offensive performances of the year. Coach Nancy Garcia said that she credits girls for never giving up. "They kept their heads up and did their jobs and came out on the other side. I cant give them enough credit for digging deep and fighting their way back."

Garcia said that they are looking forward to playing Reedley and are glad to have another home game. "One of our mottos this season has been to get better, so that's what we are going to do at practice tomorrow."

This win will set up a matchup with a No. 15 seed Reedley High School team that upset the number No. 2 seeded Bakersfield Christian 5-0. The Lady Generals will play Reedley on Thursday afternoon at 4:30 p.m. in Shafter.


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