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Hawks improve in softball
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Central Valley High School's varsity softball team lost its first four league games via shutout, including three by the 10-run mercy rule.

After being thumped 17-0 by Los Banos, the last-place Hawks returned to the diamond on Thursday and came within six outs of pulling off a major upset.

First-place Patterson overcame a two-run deficit and escaped with a 5-4 victory.

"It's a step forward," Central Valley coach Margo Arzola said. "We gained some respect back. Maybe now, we'll be taken a little more serious."

The Hawks posted an 0-5 record during the first half of the Western Athletic Conference season.

Patterson beat all five of its opponents.

Central Valley's Vicky Ochoa tallied three strikeouts while pitching against Patterson. Ochoa rolled her right ankle at practice earlier in the week.

"She did really well considering she was injured," Arzola said. "She was in pain but toughed it out."

Hawk teammate Jessica Berndt batted 2-for-3 from the plate with two RBIs.

Alyssa Meshach had a double and a single.

Sarah McElroy collected one hit.

Central Valley couldn't hold on.

The Hawks had leads of 2-0, 3-1 and 4-3.

Patterson scored the tying and go-ahead runs in the bottom of the sixth inning.

Central Valley gained confidence in defeat.

"It was a great game," Arzola said. "They had fun again. I'm proud of them. The only thing that makes it bad is we didn't win. It would have been a huge upset."

The Hawks will try to play the role of spoiler during the second half of the WAC season.

"We can still make things rough for other teams," Arzola said.