The Tigers bounced back from back-to-back losses in their previous two Western Athletic Conference outings by defeating Ripon in their tournament opener at the Tracy Sports Complex.
Patterson smashed 10 hits against the Indians and scored six runs in the first two innings.
Junior Melissa Robles went six innings in the pitcher’s circle, scattering three hits and striking out four.
“The Ripon game was a good way to get us going,” Patterson coach Jennifer Hamm said. “It gave our players all a chance to get into the game.
“I think our players did an excellent job.”
Jessyca Rico manufactured Patterson’s first run in the top of the first inning, reaching safely on a three-base error and then scoring on an illegal pitch. Two batters later, teammate Kianna Weinzheimer made it 2-0 when she cracked a home run over the left-field fence.
Patterson (5-9 overall) continued to pour it on in the second.
An RBI single by Rico made it 3-0; Brianna Gill plated a pair of runs with a double to center field; and Weinzheimer hammered another RBI double, upping Patterson’s advantage to 6-0.
“We wanted get some exposure and some confidence from this tournament,” Hamm said. “We wanted to get some good games under our belts before we resume our league schedule.”
Patterson’s Stephanie Cantu sent an RBI single to center in the fifth inning to push the lead to 7-0.
Ripon (10-6) did its damage in the bottom of the inning, scoring three runs on a pair of extra-base hits.
But Patterson got all three runs back in the seventh. Robles pelted a two-run blast over the center-field fence, and Ashton Young plated the Tigers’ last run with an RBI ground-out.
Rico tossed the final frame for Patterson, striking out the side and slamming the door shut on a Ripon comeback.
“We really came together well (against Ripon),” Hamm said.
Patterson fell short of reaching the tournament’s semifinal game, however, as it dropped a nailbiter in its next meeting with Turlock.
Turlock (8-8-1) capitalized on two seventh-inning errors and, despite not managing a hit against Patterson’s ace pitcher Rico, pulled out the win.
A misplayed fly ball put a Turlock runner on second base with two outs in the seventh, but it looked as if the Tigers would overcome the mistake when Rico struck out the next batter.
The third strike got past the catcher, though, forcing a throw to first — and it sailed into right field, letting Turlock score the game’s only run.
Rico finished with a no-hitter and 11 strikeouts.
Patterson had its chances, loading the bases in the fourth and putting two runners on in the sixth. But Turlock’s pitcher overpowered the remaining batters to save the win.
“We wanted to have the mindset to hit the ball,” Hamm said. “I’d like to see us be more aggressive at the plate.”
Rico went toe-to-toe with Hughson’s Alyssa Coelho in the finale, but again, Patterson could not generate enough offense.
Rico pitched seven solid innings, allowing five hits and striking out 13. But Patterson managed only one hit against an equally impressive Coelho.
Hughson (12-5) scored the game’s lone run on an RBI single by Brittney Rickles.
“We lost a couple of close games, but I think that we played good,” Hamm said. “We got a chance to see some quality teams and some good pitching.
“We have some things to work on, but I think we’re going to be all right.”
•Contact Marc Aceves at 892-6187 or email@example.com.