It didn't take Joanna Ortiz very long to give the Sierra Timberwolves the lead it would need to secure a road victory over the Sonora Wildcats Wednesday afternoon.
In baseball, a team has to score to win, and only one program was able to do that in Manteca's 1-0 Valley Oak League win over the East Union Lancers Wednesday.
With each Valley Oak League contest played, the importance continues to grow at season's end, and the Sierra Timberwolves did not waste an opportunity, holding off the Weston Ranch Cougars 12-5 Wednesday in VOL action.
The Manteca Buffaloes were a few innings from extending their postseason hopes a little further, but an error-filled fifth inning gave Kimball High all the ammunition it would need for a 7-5 Valley Oak League win over the Buffaloes Wednesday.
The Valley Oak League's singles tournament had a No. 1 seed expected to make it to Thursday's Championship match, and a No. 2 seed that shows he deserves the challenge. Sierra's Kevin Rausa handled his portion of the deal, earning a spot against league No. 1 seed Logan Staggs for the league crown.
For a moment, it seemed as if the Sonora Wildcats would decrease Sierra's chances at pulling in one of the three Valley Oak League playoff spots up for grabs during the stretch run. Only Dylan DeBrouwer had other plans, going the distance for the Timberwolves in a 7-4 win Tuesday.
Sierra High freshman hurler Allison Walljasper tossed a one-hitter Tuesday to lead her team past host Weston Ranch, 12-0.
It's a pivotal week for area schools in the Valley Oak League.
The Sierra Timberwolves hauled in a one-sided 117-51 girls victory Thursday, but the boys came up short 85-79 to visiting Ripon High in the two clubs' Valley Oak League swim meet, falling in the final race for the difference.
Brandon Manville picked up a tennis racquet for the first time this past summer.
In a replay of the Valley Oak League's most pivotal rematch, the Manteca High School outlasted host Oakdale in an eight-inning battle that saw the Buffaloes explode for five in the bonus frame of a 6-1 win Thursday.
Sierra's boys track and field team was expected to clinch at least share of its second straight Valley Oak League title, and fifth in seven years, Thursday at Oakdale High.
In a clash between the top two teams in the Valley Oak League, Sierra High maintained the top spot by defeating second-place Kimball in Tracy Thursday, 4-1.
If it wasn't for bad luck, the East Union Lancers wouldn't have any.
Brennon Williams could have been the hero the last time he and the Oakdale High baseball team visited Manteca, but he was robbed of the opportunity.
RIPON - Ripon No. 3 batter Nick Price picked a good time to pick up a hit.
Kenny Wooten was not going to let a sore ankle slow him down.
Celina Cooper started her senior season with plenty of pop in her bat, but a pop in her knee is what ended it.
Yok Jing Ma and Mike Lopez's quest for a Sac-Joaquin Section Division II Tournament doubles title was a delayed for a day after the opening rounds rained out at Johnson Ranch Racquet Club in Roseville on Thursday.
Former Manteca High football standout Reggie Bell was among 11 rookie free agents signed by the Washington Redskins, the team announced Thursday.
Manteca will take on 10th seeded Ponderosa in the second round of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division III girls soccer playoffs.
Sometimes, missing a shot works out too.
RIPON - Having two starting defenders out would put most teams at a disadvantage.
RIPON - The baby bounded across the soccer field toward her father, stumbling over her steps but smiling the whole way.
The Manteca High baseball team has a long road ahead in its attempt at gaining a second straight Sac-Joaquin Section championship.
Sierra (16-5) will have to wait until next season to get another crack at its Valley Oak League rivals.
East Union had a chit in the karma bank Wednesday night and picked the right time to get it back.
Marcus Montano and his booming right foot are taking the next step.
Comfortable first-round victories allowed the East Union and Manteca girls soccer programs to rest many of their regulars.
It was a return to prominence for the Sierra High baseball program.