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OAKDALE GETS EVEN WITH EU

Lancers lackluster with bats in battle for first place

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OAKDALE GETS EVEN WITH EU

East Union infielder Cherie DeJesus looks to gun down Oakdale's Alanna Jones after a sacrifice bunt in the fifth inning of Monday's Valley Oak League showdown between first-place teams at Northgate...

JONAMAR JACINTO/The Bulletin/


POSTED April 27, 2010 2:17 a.m.
Oakdale pitcher Brianna Parker gave East Union a rare opportunity to score after booting Kourtni McCall’s soft grounder to start the bottom of the seventh inning of Monday’s battle for sole rights of first place in the Valley Oak League at Northgate Softball Complex.

Making matters worse, she fell behind in the count, three balls to no strikes, against East Union’s deadliest slugger, Cassie Waggy, and cleanup batter Brittany LaMar loomed in the on-deck circle with no outs.

As quickly as things got scary for the Mustangs, Parker quickly vanquished East Union’s hopes and preserved the 2-0 victory.

“Her thing is that she gets a little too emotional, so we have to tell her to breathe in between pitches because she gets so fired up,” Oakdale coach Larry Loger said. “She stepped up big. They had some big hitters in that part of the lineup.”

She battled back and worked the count full to Waggy, but on that second strike McCall began to make her way toward second thinking it was a ball because the plate umpire delayed his call. Parker gunned her down at first.

She wasn’t out of it yet.

One pitch later, Parker got the second out with a swinging strike and mowed LaMar down on strikes to begin the celebration.

“That was totally deflating,” EU coach Brian Goulart said of the pickoff play at first. “I did not like the call on McCall, but if you make a mistake you bring the umpire into the game.”

Parker finished with eight strikeouts to no walks while giving up just two hits. East Union’s Jackie Ketner did her part in the pitcher’s duel, striking out four, walking two and yielding five hits and an earned run.

The difference, though, was on offense. East Union previously beat Oakdale 5-4 on the road with a much more aggressive approach at the plate and matched that run total in a 5-1 victory over Sierra, which boasts one of the league’s top hurlers in Gabby Hawkins.

“We had been hitting the ball great, but our good hitters just didn’t get it done tonight,” Goulart said. “You have to give Parker credit, she pitched really well. I think she is a super dominant pitcher, but I also think Jackie pitched well enough for us to win.

“It’s on the offense to get the runs in, and we didn’t get any in. We did not get it done offensively; it’s as simple as that. We did not adjust well enough.”

The Lancers (8-2, 16-5 overall) had just three base runners. Jillian Goulart was hit by Parker’s first pitch of the game, but McCall rolled into a double play to abate the early threat.

In the second, Cherie DeJesus slammed a double to left on a 3-0 pitch but advanced no further. And in the fourth, LaMar reached on an infield single with two outs.

Oakdale (9-1, 14-6-1) scratched across the first run in the sixth after loading the bases with no outs. Parker sent a routine grounder to Waggy at first, but the throw for the force at the plate was offline to score Kaila Olson (leadoff single).

Ketner did well to limit the damage with a double play and another grounder to first.

The top of the seventh featured the defensive play of the game followed by the hit of the game.

McCall robbed Alanna Jones of a possible infield hit with a circus catch at shortstop, but on the next pitch the momentum swung back in Oakdale’s favor when No. 9 hitter Brooke Magnussen slammed a solo home run to center field.

“We think we’re as good as them when we play well, but we don’t always play well,” Loger said. “Today we were definitely ready. This was big. I told them before the game that this wasn’t a do-or-die, but that’s not how I really felt about it.”

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