Whitney falls short of championship this time

Wildcats look strong for future
By: Staff Report
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SACRAMENTO _ It wasn?t the ending Whitney High?s softball team was hoping for but the Wildcats established themselves as a real force for years to come. Bear River claimed the Sac-Joaquin Section title by defeating Whitney 9-3 May 23. However, the Bruins said goodbye to nine seniors, the Wildcats two. Juniors Taylor Cotton, Kayli Shaw and Kaylin Mallery each had two hits in the contest with Shaw and Mallery each scoring a run. Sophomore Kierra Keller drove in two of the runs and senior Sidney Hafey also had a run batted in. Hafey joins Darian Harris as the only two players who will graduate this spring. Harris will be on her way to play softball for Humboldt State. It was Bear River?s fifth section crown in six seasons and the last for Bruins coach Duane Zauner. Zauner stepped down as head coach after the game and commented on his club?s loss to Whitney earlier in the season. ?We played terrible defense that game,? Zauner said. ?Going 1-4 at the beginning of the year was tough, but (the Bruins) knew they were going to be good. They just had to get some confidence.? Confidence should also describe the Wildcats going forward. Although Harris led the maroon-and-gold with a .442 batting average, Cotton was just behind at .420. The team hit at a .324 clip. Cotton and junior Mallory Andrada had 22 stolen bases between them. Cotton was also the teams leading pitcher with a 2.36 earned run average with 173 strikeouts. Junior Megan Mello was her backup with a 1.88 ERA. The ?Cats ended the season with a 20-12 record, 9-1 in the Capital Athletic League; Bear River was 20-6-2. Whitney committed 37 errors this season, the Bruins 77. Additional reporting by Todd Mordhorst/Gold Country News Service Bear River 9, Whitney 3 R H E Wildcats 0 0 0 0 0 3 0 ? 3 7 2 Bruins 1 0 1 4 0 3 0 ? 9 9 1