STOCKTON - After failing to do so as a singles player two years in a row, Mike Lopez finally has himself a Valley Oak League championship.
Lucas Vaughn had a mixture of pitches working Thursday afternoon, but his curve ball specifically had the Kimball lineup baffled.
Manteca may be a third-place postseason qualifier out of the Valley Oak League, but the Buffaloes may be one of the most dangerous teams going in.
Despite Sierra playing its third game in as many days Thursday, the Timberwolves showed no sign of fatigue heading into next week's season-ending series against Manteca that will determine the Valley Oak League champion.
Ripon is headed back to the Sac-Joaquin Section Division V postseason tournament for a second straight season after picking up its ninth consecutive Trans Valley League victory Thursday.
Swinging for the fences didn't do the trick for East Union in its first-place battle with Oakdale at Northgate Softball Complex on Wednesday.
RIPON – Cynthia Van Vliet had a fair share of opportunities to put the ball in the net during Wednesday's Southern League finale against first-place Mariposa.
RIPON – All week long, the talk around the Ripon baseball facility had centered on Tanner Pruett's looping curve ball.
Manteca isn't completely eliminated from playoff contention yet, but its chances did take a hit after Wednesday's 10-4 Valley Oak League loss against Kimball.
The Sierra boys track and field team dominated Valley Oak League competition this year.
Dave Breitenbucher predicted fifth-place finishes in the Valley Oak League for his Sierra swim teams this year.
Isela Rivera missed on a back-post header, whiffed on a breakaway from the top of box and pushed a few other shots wide.
Sierra nearly blew its chance to qualify for the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV Tournament for the first time since 2010 Tuesday in the Valley Oak League Championships.
The middle of Sierra's lineup continued to terrorize Valley Oak League pitching on Tuesday.
There were no big surprises in Day 1 of the Valley Oak League Tennis Tournament at Weston Ranch High on Tuesday.
Lathrop threatened to force a fifth set but came up short against visiting East Union, which prevailed 25-15, 25-22, 13-25, 25-21 for its first Valley Oak League victory of the season.
McKenna Doyle posted her best score of the season Tuesday at Manteca Park Golf Course and was low medalist in Sierra's 258-287 victory over Oakdale.
Ripon Christian got back on track Tuesday with a 4-1 win at Waterford.
LATHROP - East Union was relentless in the attacking third during the first half, pressuring the Lathrop defense into mistakes with precision passing and outstanding individual play.
Missed opportunities and defensive breakdowns kept Sierra from gaining at least a point in the Valley Oak League standings Monday.
Ripon High's girls golf team placed second among North Division teams in the Valley Foothill League Mid-Year Tournament, which was held Monday at Micke Grove Golf Course in Lodi.
Alyssa Burch and the rest of the Manteca High volleyball team couldn't mask their excitement after notching the clinching point.
Escalon had a score to settle with Ripon on Thursday as the two met in a showdown of undefeated teams in the Valley Foothill League's North Division.
Travis Vander Molen found the back of the net twice as the Ripon Christian boys soccer team nearly erased a three-goal deficit in a 5-3 loss to visiting Delhi on Thursday.
The Weston Ranch girls tennis team played its most competitive match of the season in a 5-4 loss to East Union on Thursday.
It was a three-person race for low-medalist honors at Manteca Park Golf Course on Wednesday, where cross-town opponents Manteca and Sierra met for a pivotal Valley Oak League dual match.
Ripon dominated visiting Lodi in a three-game sweep (25-10, 25-14, 25-17) Wednesday.
The Manteca High girls cross country team has some work to do if it wants to keep its spot on the Valley Oak League throne.
RIPON - Despite an aggressive first half, Ripon Christian found itself down by a goal at halftime against visiting Le Grand, the defending Southern League champion.
East Union's girls tennis team relied on its depth to upend visiting Kimball on Tuesday.