Kimball’s first win of the day, 7-4 over the Tigers from Los Banos High, moved the Jaguars into the top four teams in the double-elimination portion of the bracket.
But Kimball followed with a 7-5 loss to Sierra High of Manteca, meaning one more loss puts the Jaguars out of the running for the D-IV title.
The Jaguars face Ceres at 5 p.m. today, May 18, and the winner of that game will face either Oakdale or Sierra.
The top two teams from today’s competition will play for the D-IV title at 11 a.m. Saturday, May 19.
Kimball 7, Los Banos 4
The Kimball softball team forged an early lead in its first-round playoff game Thursday, then fought to keep that lead from slipping away.
The Jaguars (24-4 overall, 12-2 Valley Oak League) found a few opportunities in the early inning.
Leadoff batter Kate Bomar reached on an error in the first and came home on Montanna Bradley’s single up the middle. Taylor Honnoll and Gabbi Cox both singled in the second to make it a 2-0 game, and Llesenia Torres singled and Bradley reached on a fielder’s choice on the way to a two-run third inning.
Los Banos threatened to break the game open in the fourth, though.
The Tigers (15-10-1, 10-3 Western Athletic Conference) collected four base hits, a walk and took advantage of an infield error to score four runs to tie it at 4-4.
Kimball took the lead back in the fifth.
Torres and Bradley singled and came in when Danielle Lallo laid down a bunt and the catcher’s throw to first went into right field.
Bomar scored one more in the sixth when she reached on a fielder’s choice, stole second and came home on an infield error.
Alexis Lopez gave up nine hits and four runs, three of them earned, over seven innings for the win.
Details of the Sierra game were not available.