SPORTS ROUNDUP; Revamped Swing into Spring softball tournament to conclude on March 24


Reedley boys defeat Immanuel in first crosstown volleyball battle between the schools, track and field gets into spring mode

Photos by Jon Earnest
Reedley High’s Jacob Rocha (12) delivers a spike against the wall of Immanuel High defenders Jason Romo (10) and Tye Tibbett (7) during the Pirates’ four-set boys volleyball victory over the Eagles at Immanuel High on March 14. Scores were 25-14, 25-12, 21-25 and 25-23 in the second crosstown volleyball matchup this season between the boys programs.
Reedley High’s Jacob Rocha intently watches the flight of his kill attempt past Immanuel High defender Jason Romo (10) during the Pirates’ four-set boys volleyball victory over the Eagles at Immanuel High on March 14. Scores were 25-14, 25-12, 21-25 and 25-23.
Reedley High’s Liam Shinn (15) watches his spike clear the net past Immanuel High defender Tad Tibbett (11) during the Pirates’ four-set boys volleyball victory over the Eagles at Immanuel High on March 14.

REEDLEY – A winter of multiple storms delayed and then led to a slight revamp of the Reedley High School Swing into Spring softball tournament.
The event, originally scheduled for March 10-11 but only able to nearly complete one rescheduled day, will finally conclude on Saturday. March 25, at Reedley High fields. Teams remaining in the tournament are the host Pirates (3-3), Lemoore, Mission Oak, Shafter, Golden West, Torres and Mt. Whitney. Teams unable to compete this weekend include Sanger (6-1-1), Tulare Western, Taft, Sierra Pacific and Hanford.
The revamped schedule on March 25 begins at 9 a.m. with pool play involving Reedley, Lemoore and Mission Oak. At the same time, Shafter, Torres, Golden West and Mt. Whitney will meet in bracket play. The Pirates play Lemoore at 9 a.m. and Mission Oak at 3 p.m. The Mission Oak game will be the final game of the tournament.
Storms were in the forecast for March 21, threatening Reedley High’s scheduled game at Clovis West. on Thursday, March 23, the Pirates will host Sanger High in a 3:30 p.m. non-league matchup. Reedley then hosts Tulare Western on Tuesday, March 28, and then will play at the Tulare Union tournament on April 1 and 3 before opening Tri-County Conference play on Wednesday, April 12 at Sierra Pacific High in Hanford.
Sanger’s game at Reedley was preceded by a road game March 21 (weather permitting) at Mt. Whitney. The Apaches are scheduled to play non-league and tournament games against Mission Oak on March 23 and March 28.
Dinuba High (2-6) played its first game in 10 days on March 10, losing by an 11-1 score at Edison High in Fresno on March 17. The Emperors managed just five hits off Tigers pitcher Alexis Verduzco, and Edison collected 11 hits including a home run by Lauren Jones.
A scheduled March 21 home game against Selma was followed by a non-league home contest Thursday, March 23, at 6 p.m. against Garza High. After traveling to Kern County to play Taft on March 28, the Emps play Fresno and Chowchilla at the Fowler Easter Classic on Saturday, April 1.
Immanuel finishes 2-2 at Redwood Invitational
In Visalia on March 16-17, the Immanuel High Eagles (3-2) split their four games at the Redwood Invitational softball tournament, defeating Bakersfield (2-1 on March 16) and Chavez (7-3 on March 17) while losing to Lemoore (7-5 on the 16th) and Centennial-Bakersfield (2-1 on the 17th).
Sophomore Amanda Herrera scattered seven hits and allowed one earned run with three strikeouts against the Drillers, and senior Alli Friesen (two hits) and freshman Natalia Delgadillo drove in the runs. Herrera fanned seven and Delgadillo collected three hits and drove in two runs against the Titans.
Immanuel has three home games, starting with Edison on March 21 and then against Stone Ridge Christian-Merced (Thursday, March 23 at 5:30 p.m.) and Firebaugh (Tuesday, March 21 at 6:30 p.m.).
Pirates use quick start to down Eagles

Reedley High used the hitting prowess of Jacob Rocha and Liam Shinn to overpower the host Immanuel High Eagles in the first two sets, then rebounded from a third set loss to defeat the Eagles in a crosstown matchup at Immanuel High South Gym on March 14. Scores were 25-14 and 25-12 in the first two sets; the Eagles pulled out a 25-21 decision before the Pirates prevailed by a 25-23 margin in set four.
Rocha and Shinn both had strong performances at the net for Reedley, which improved to 7-9 for the season with its second straight victory over Immanuel in a five-day period. On March 9, the Pirates posted a hard-fought 27-25, 25-13, 25-22 victory over the Eagles at Reedley High.
Freshman Bennett Cords followed a seven-kill performance against Reedley on March 9 with 11 kills, an ace and 17 digs. The Eagles (0-15) lost in straight sets at Madera on March 16, and will play at Hoover of Fresno in a tournament on Saturday, March 25.
Dinuba boys second, girls third at Emperor Invite

Dinuba High’s boys placed second and the girls finished third in team competition at the 13-school Emperor Invitational at Dinuba High stadium on March 17. The boys finished second to Golden West while the girls trailed the Trailblazers and Hanford West.
Junior Avril Mendoza followed up a victory and personal best time in the 300 meter hurdles at a West Yosemite League tri-meet two days earlier by bettering her own personal record (PR) and winning the event in a time of 49.26 seconds. Mendoza also finished second in the 100 hurdles and eighth in the 200 meter sprint. Other winners for the Dinuba girls were senior Chloe Benham (400 meters) and senior Mariah Rico (shot put).
For the boys, senior Christopher Alba also was a winner in the 300 meter hurdles while clocking a season-best 43.95 seconds. Alba also set his best 2023 mark in the 110 high hurdles at 18.21 seconds, good for a fourth place finish. Senior Jayden Gutierrez placed second in both the long jump and triple jump.
A double winner at the event was Parlier High junior Evan Torres, who won both the 800 meters (2:06.87) and 1600 meters (4:43.58). In girls competition, Immanuel High senior Sadie Carpenter won the long jump (a PR of 14 feet, 10 inches) and placed second in the 100 (season-best 13.57). Orosi High senior Aidee Perez won the 1600 meters in a PR time of 6:00.30.
Dinuba High also hosted a tri-meet against Tulare Western and Lemoore on March 15. Junior Julian Ramirez won the discus with a season-best mark of 159-9, while Alba placed second in the 110 hurdles in 56.53. For the girls, Mendoza had the lone win by taking the 300 hurdles.
Dinuba will join Reedley, Sanger, Immanuel and Orange Cove at the Exeter Monarch Invitational on Friday, March 24.
Sanger boys 13th of 21 schools at Gateway Invitational
At Veterans Stadium in Clovis on March 17, Sanger High’s boys placed 13th of 21 schools in the Gateway Track and Field Invitational. Senior Han Yotoun turned in the top finish for the Apaches, placing second in the 300 hurdles with a PR time of 40.67 seconds. Senior Myles Nicasio 11th in the 1600 with a PR time and seventh in the 3200 while senior Gavin Gonsalves tied for eighth in the high jump. Reedley’s Logan Moreno finished eighth in the 800 with a PR of 1:59.80.
For the girls, Immanuel High freshman Lexi Schartmann placed second in the 800 with a PR of 2:22.70 while fellow frosh Clara Riddle was fourth in the 800 in a PR 2:25.06. The Eagles finished in 12th points in the team standings with 14 points.
Host Buchanan topped the varsity boys and girls team scoring.