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Sierra’s Walljasper is four time VOL MVP

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Brian Goulart, having a chat with All-VOL second-team selection Michelle Castro during a timeout, led East Union to its first league championship since 2009. Goulart was named Coach of the Year.

HIME ROMERO/Bulletin file photo/

POSTED May 25, 2014 9:42 p.m.

Allie Walljasper is batting 1.000 when it comes to the Valley Oak League’s MVP honor.

The Sierra senior goes out with yet another MVP notch on her decorated belt after sharing it twice and having it to herself last year.

“She was everything to this program,” said now-retired Sierra coach Nick Olmo.

No kidding.

Walljasper led the Timberwolves to their first two league and Sac-Joaquin Section titles during her freshmen and junior years, and although Sierra (10-4 VOL, 16-8 overall) came up short of making a fourth consecutive appearance in the SJS Division IV finals two weeks ago they likely wouldn’t have come close to their third-place finish without the towering ace.

Three of the four major all-league awards go to area players, with Alexis Erich and Cherish Burks of league co-champ East Union (12-2, 25-4) earning Pitcher of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year status, respectively. East Union’s Brian Goulart is Coach of the Year. Kimball shortstop Llesenia Torres was voted Offensive Player of the Year.

Walljasper was 9-4 in league with a 0.93 ERA and 144 strikeouts against just 16 walks in 75 innings pitched. She also terrorized teams at the plate, hitting for a .536 average with five home runs and 14 RBIs.

Walljasper was so feared that at one point she drew seven walks in consecutive plate appearances. That streak ended in the second-to-last game in the regular season when her impressive solo bomb off Erich decided a 1-0 win that kept the Timberwolves’ postseason hopes alive.

“The team went into a slump for a good while in the middle of league, yet she was always consistent and came through for us,” Olmo said. “In a lot of our close games she accounted for half if not all of our runs.”

It’s what MVPs do.

Goulart said he had an MVP candidate of his own in Burks, East Union’s outstanding center fielder and leadoff hitter. She batted .533 overall with four homers, seven doubles, three triples and 15 RBIs. Her 48 hits and 43 runs plated are both fourth most in the SJS.

“I thought she was Offensive Player of the Year,” Goulart said of the talented junior. “But she is also a big-time defender who covers a whole lot of ground and she has a big arm.”

East Union captured its first VOL title since 2008 but has since had since lacked a dominant pitcher. The Lancers have one in Erich, who is only a freshman. She compiled a 21-2 record with a 2.04 ERA and 137 strikeouts in 127 innings. Erich also tied for the team lead with four home runs to go with a .400 batting average.

“With her being so young we didn’t know how she was going to handle it this year,” Goulart said. “Alexis showed that she has a lot of fight in her. She did a great job all season and she did it as a freshman. Her only losses were to the section champion (Oakdale) and defending section championship team (Sierra).”

Oakdale (12-2, 24-5-1), which claimed the other half to the VOL crown, beat East Union 3-0 in the SJS Division IV title game on May 17. Erich, nursing soreness to her throwing hand and arm, did not pitch in the final round.

While Oakdale did not have any major award winners, it does have the largest representation on the all-league first team with four.

Four-year varsity starter Jordan Vinson (.407, 37 RBIs) and sophomore shortstop Samantha Owen (.408, 23 RBIs) represent East Union on the first team. Vinson, a third baseman, was the league’s Defensive Player of the Year in 2013.

Sierra sophomore third baseman Julie Deanda (.500), Manteca junior third baseman Celina Cooper (.500, five HRs, 33 RBIs) and Weston Ranch sophomore second basemen Elysia Hernandez (.457, 30 runs) round out area players who earned first-team honors.

Notable All-VOL second-team selections from the area include four-year starters Peyton Rose (pitcher, Manteca), Lexus Barnes (catcher, Sierra) and Arianna Heranndez (pitcher, Weston Ranch).

Also making the second team was: East Union sophomores Michelle Castro and Taylor Ward, Sierra senior outfielder Mariah Jurado, Manteca first baseman Morgan Miramontes, Manteca freshman infielder Tawny Deerinck and freshman third basemen Adelina Moreno and Christina Washington of Lathrop and Weston Ranch, respectively. 

Lathrop first baseman Regina Juarez, Weston Ranch center fielder Mia Thurman, Manteca outfielder Melanie Ramos, Sierra shortstop Gianna Lenoci and East Union catcher Alejandra Rascon are part of the All-Defensive team.

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