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Buffaloes’ comeback falls short

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East Union’s Tea Solario (11) elevates to make the grab on Wednesday during the Lancers’ 12-11 VOL victory over cross-town rival Manteca at the Northgate Softball Complex

HIME ROMERO/The Bulletin/

POSTED April 17, 2014 12:51 a.m.

Despite being faced with an eight-run deficit and just six more outs left to make something happen with on Wednesday, Manteca had no intentions of laying down against its cross-town rival East Union at the Northgate Softball Complex.

The Buffaloes (5-5 VOL, 8-7 overall) nearly completed a come-from-behind win and knotted the game at 11 apiece in the sixth, but the Lancers managed to avoid their second loss of the season and prevailed 12-11 after Alexis Erich converted on the game-winning, walk-off RBI that brought in Cherish Burks.

“That eight-run inning was amazing,” East Union head coach Brian Goulart said. “At 11-3 most teams would die, so congratulations to Manteca. What a warrior effort by their girls.”

The Lancers (9-1, 15-1) scored runs in six of the seven innings and led 8-1 after 18 outs.

Manteca’s Annissa Gonzalez  belted a two-run home run off Erich (seven hits, two strikeouts, five walks) with Peyton Rose on the bags, which was the Buffaloes’ second home run of the game and the Erich’s fifth home run given up in VOL.

Gonzalez’s shot made it a seven-run ball game, but East Union tacked on two more runs in the fourth and another one in the fifth after Burks went yard, which was the game’s third over-the-fence bomb.

In the sixth inning, Manteca’s Celina Cooper (2 for 3, two runs, four RBIs) and Gonzalez (1 for 3, two runs, two RBIs) led off with consecutive walks, and Tawny Deerick (2 for 4) singled to load the bases. Sierra Martinez’s fielder’s-choice RBI scored Cooper to make it 11-4 and Melanie Ramos was hit by a pitch to reload the bases.

“We never gave up and played hard,” Manteca head coach Corey Navarro said. “It doesn’t matter how good or bad we are, we go out there and play to win and not give up.”

Manteca continued to threaten the second-place Lancers as Aryanna Martinez tallied three RBIs after putting the ball in play to right-center field to make it 11-7. Erich hit Jessica Mullen with a pitch and Manteca’s starting pitcher Rose put down an RBI single that scored Ramos to make it a three-run game. Martinez, Mullen and Cooper scored the last three runs to tie it.

“They outplayed us there’s no question,” Goulart added. “We came out on top by a run, but we got outplayed tonight. That is a little unfortunate because we’ve been playing so well, but tip your hat to Manteca they fought back and had a couple of big bombs.”

In the bottom of the seventh, Burks led off with a hard-hit line drive to center for a stand-up double. She then stole third -- and after a pop out and a walk -- Erich ended the rivalry match with an RBI after solidly putting the ball in play at second base.

An infield error ended the night for Manteca, which still has hopes of making it to the playoffs in this anything-can-happen type of league.

“When we face Sierra and Oakdale, we have nothing to lose,” Navarro said. “If East Union beats Sierra, we’re still chasing third place.  We just go out there and play, everything to gain.”

East Union countered Cooper’s solo home run in the top of the first by scoring two in the bottom half of the frame. Erich tallied the two-RBI single that scored Burks (3 for 3, four runs) and Michelle Castro (1 for 3, run walk).

Manteca got a single from Deerick in the second inning, but East Union turned a 6-3 double play after Samantha Owen made the catch and threw it back to first to escape the inning. EU went up 4-1 on a two-RBI triple from Castro that scored Burks and Taylor Ward.

The Lancers pieced together a four-run bottom of the third frame thanks to a two-RBI single from Jordan Vinson (1 for 5) and RBI singles from Ward and Deja Guzman.

In the fourth inning, Tea Solario had an RBI-single that scored Owen, followed by Ward (2 for 3, two runs) making it 10-3 with a sac-fly.

Alejandra Rascon scored two runs and went 0 for 2 and was hit by a pitch twice.

Manteca will have a two-game set against Weston Ranch next week, while the Lancers play Ripon on Saturday and Sonora on Wednesday.

Sierra 10, Lathrop 0 (5)

Taylor Moss (three innings, two strikeouts) and Lexus Barnes (two innings, three strikeouts) combined for a one-hitter as standout Allie Walljasper took a break from the pitcher’s circle Wednesday.

Mariah Jurado led the hit parade for Sierra (7-3, 11-4), going 4 for 4 and plating three runs. Gianna Lenoci was 3 for 3 with a walk and two runs, and Maddie Penner went 3 for 4 with three RBIs.

“The girls are getting a little bit of confidence in the batter’s box and hitting the ball well,” Sierra coach Nick Olmo said. “We’re hoping to take the momentum into next week’s game against Kimball.”


East Union 14, Manteca 0

Delaney Pamplin threw a three-hitter with no walks and batted 2 for 2 for the Lancers (5-0, 13-0). Patricia Tajii was 2 for 2 with two RBIs, Melissa Hansen was 1 for 2 and Gaby Sandoval finished 2 for 3 with a triple and three RBIs.


East Union 19, Manteca 3

The Lancers continued to rip through the VOL as Janika Gomes and Monica Hansen each went 2 for 3. Amanda Armstrong went 2 for 2 for East Union (5-0, 13-0), which received a complete-game win from Gomes (seven strikeouts).

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