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Freshman keys EU win over Kimball

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East Union’s Taylor Ward dives back to second base during the Lancers’ 4-3 VOL victory over visiting Kimball at the Northgate Softball Complex on Friday. Complex.

HIME ROMERO/ The Bulletin/

POSTED April 12, 2014 12:28 a.m.

Alexis Erich and East Union held a three-run cushion heading into the seventh inning Friday and were three outs away from a key Valley Oak League victory over Kimball.

The Jaguars applied the pressure against the Lancers’ freshman hurler by plating two scores and bringing the potential go-ahead run to the dish, but Erich induced an unassisted ground ball and East Union escaped with a 4-3 win at the Northgate Softball Complex.

Despite East Union (8-1 VOL, 14-1 overall) scoring all four of its runs on four RBIs from Erich, it failed to expand its lead in the top of the sixth inning despite Kimball pitcher Amanda Riley (seven hits, four runs, two strikeouts) throwing four of her six walks in that frame.

“The only thing I was concerned with was not scoring those runs (in the sixth inning),” East Union head coach Brian Goulart said. “That was the main thing. The offense has to do their job. You can’t leave runners stranded like that when we did.”

East Union’s Michelle Castro, who made the final out of the game at first base unassisted, grounded into a fielder’s choice with bases loaded to end the sixth.

Castro went 1 for 3 with a walk, two stolen bases and two runs. Cherish Burks, who drew a base on balls in the sixth along with Jordan Vinson, Taylor Ward and Tea Solario, was forced out at third base and East Union wasn’t able to bring any of those runners across.

Kimball (4-4, 7-6) didn’t throw in the towel despite having the last two hitters of its lineup due, along with its lead-off hitter Gabbi Cox (0 for 3, run).

Kimball’s Allison Corliss led off the inning by drawing the Jaguars’ only walk of the contest. Along with that walk, Erich scattered seven hits, gave up three runs and tossed three strikeouts.

The Jaguars’ Danielle Lalos delivered a clutch two-out single to keep her team’s hopes alive, which brought shortstop Llesenia Torres to the dish.

Torres not only represented the potential game-tying run, but she delivered a two-RBI single that scored Corliss and Cox to make it 4-3.

“It was nice to string some hits together,” Kimball head coach Joseph Hernandez said. “That’s been our problem all year. We just couldn’t find any holes in the defense, but it was nice to get a couple of runs in that last inning and make it close.”

Kimball brought its standout sophomore Samantha Sarmiento to the dish with two outs and the game-tying run on base. Sarmiento was 1 for 2 with a home run prior to that at bat and had already homered once this week during an 11-1 win over Linden Monday.

Sarmiento also homered the last time the Jaguars and Lancers bumped heads during EU’s 6-2 win in Tracy on March 19.

“We never get Lalos out. She might be the best hitter in the league, I don’t know,” Goulart said. “She’s certainly at the top of the list. And (Sarmiento) is a special hitter. Nervous doesn’t describe (before that inning). We were very fortunate.”

Erich trailed in the count 3-1 before Sarmiento hit a low pitch and grounded out to Castro. Erich also handed the Lancers a 2-0 advantage in the first inning with a two-run homer to right-center field that brought herself and Castro across the dish.

“She hit it a country mile,” Goulart concluded. “She had a very productive day. I wouldn’t have even pitched to her.”

On Erich’s second at bat, she then crushed a two-run double off the fence that brought in Vinson and Castro to make it a 4-0 contest.

East Union, which sits in second place in the VOL with its only loss against undefeated Oakdale (9-0, 15-1) on March 28, 3-1, will host Manteca next Wednesday at 6 p.m. at the Northgate Softball Complex.


East Union 21, Kimball 0

Mikayla Bongi threw 55 pitches in five innings and gave up three hits and one walk. Christina Mojica went 4 for 4 with a triple and four RBIs and Delaney Pamplin finished 3 for 3 with a triple and three RBIs. Melissa Hansen was 2 for 4 with a triple and Patricia Tajii was 2 for 2 with a pair of RBIs for the Lancers (8-1, 13-1).


East Union 14, Kimball 3

The Lancers remained unbeaten after Janika Gomes went 3 for 4 from the plate and also notched a complete-game victory after only giving up three runs (none earned) and throwing eight strikeouts. LaEssa Pierce went 2 for 3 for the Lancers (4-0, 12-0), who will be at Manteca next Wednesday.

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