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East Union shines in all facets in win over Tracy

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East Union shines in all facets in win over Tracy

East Union shortstop Samantha Owen tags out Tracy’s Ellie Fisher at second base on a steal attempt Thursday night at Northgate Softball Complex.

Photo by SEAN KAHLER/


POSTED March 14, 2014 12:50 a.m.

It’s been a trial-by-fire process for Alexis Erich’s fledgling varsity career as the ace pitcher for East Union.

The unflappable freshman helped the Lancers beat traditional power Tracy 10-2 in her debut at the Northgate Softball Complex on Thursday. She wriggled out of a one-out, bases-loaded jam in the top of the third to preserve a 1-0 lead and later closed it out with two perfect innings. Erich scattered nine hits, walked none and struck out five.

While she is a big reason for East Union’s five-game winning streak to start the season, Erich is able to throw without fear because of the talented group of returners that surrounds her.

“I have a defense that backs me up and it gives me confidence in whatever I throw,” she said. “I have a team that I trust in.”

After Thursday’s effort she has no reason to ever doubt her teammates moving forward. Batterymate Alejandra Rascon drove in five runs, while Cherish Burks and Michelle Castro, both 2 for 3, each plated three.

East Union tagged 10 hits but was even more impressive defensively, save for a rare error from senior captain Jordan Vinson, who was otherwise stellar at third base.

“We’re proud that we played well tonight because they’re a super good team,” East Union coach Brian Goulart said. “To beat Tracy takes a lot of energy, effort and talent and we showed a lot of that tonight.”

Rascon delivered the game’s first run in the bottom of the second with a sacrifice fly that sent home Castro. The lefty slugger came through again in the third with a two-run double that capped a five-run inning. The backbreaker was Rascon’s impressive two-run homer to right in the fifth.

Rascon is coming off an outstanding four-game stretch in which she led East Union to the Ted Yoneda Classic championship in Stockton. She began Thursday’s game with a .727 batting average and padded it with a productive 2-for-2 effort.

“I’m feeling great right now,” Rascon said. “I honestly wasn’t expecting to hit a home run today. I was just trying to do my job and move the runner.”

Rascon also did her job behind the plate. Ellie Fisher, Tracy’s speedy leadoff hitter, started the game with an infield single but was thrown out by the catcher while trying to steal second.

The game fittingly ended with another defensive highlight. Sophomore second baseman Deja Guzman laid out to rob Hayley Nunes of a base hit and tallied the final out by quickly flinging the ball to first while still laying on the dirt.

No one had more highlights than Vinson, however. Her busy night at the hot corner began in the second when she caught two pop-ups and gunned down a runner at first. In the third she misplayed Peyton Davis’ sacrifice bunt but more than made up for it later in the game.

Vinson got a jump on Nunes’ bunt attempt in the fifth inning and dove toward home plate to catch the first out. She then ended the frame by snagging Alee Balanon’s well-struck line drive. Also that inning, left fielder Taylor Ward, shortstop Samantha Owen and Guzman connected for a heads-up out at second base after Tracy’s Mikayla Coelho overran the bag on an RBI double.

Vinson wasn’t finished yet. She recorded the second-to-last out of the game by throwing out the fleet-of-foot Fisher at first. Fisher earlier legged out three infield singles.

Oh, and Vinson was 3 for 4 with a double, a run and two RBIs at the plate.

“That’s the best defensive game by an individual I’ve seen since I’ve been at East Union,” Goulart said of Vinson. “It’s not surprising. She’s a senior, she’s a captain and she’s hungry. She wants to win league and section titles.”

Tracy struggled defensively (five errors) behind Coehlo, a freshman who got the starting nod from the pitcher’s circle. UC Riverside-bound senior Tayler Misfeldt was given the night off after her epic duel with LSU signee Allie Walljasper the day before. Walljasper led Sierra to a 2-1 victory Wednesday.

Goulart knows Thursday’s contest would have played out differently had his Lancers faced Misfeldt, but it was still a nice win over one of the Sac-Joaquin Section’s top Division I clubs.

“We were gearing up for her but I thought (Tracy coach Greg Smith) would throw their other girl because Tayler went extra innings (Wednesday),” Goulart said. “It’s nonleague anyway, and their freshman gets a chance to pitch against a good team. I think that’s smart. She’s a quality young pitcher, but Tayler Misfeldt is one of the best pitchers around here so it was absolutely a big difference.”

Sophomore

East Union 11, Tracy 1

Delany Pamplin tossed nine strikeouts and didn’t give up a walk in the win. She also went 2 of 4 from the dish with two RBIs and a double for the Lancers (1-0).

Patricia Tajii went 2 of 3, and Jaelyn Stock finished 2 of 4 to go with a pair of RBIs and a double.

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