A pair of young Manteca softball players played an integral role in the Mayhem Fastpitch 10-under softball team’s 2011 NSA Nor Cal State Championship run. Pitcher Lindsey Walljasper and catcher Katie Johnson helped outlast five other teams for the coveted state title.
Mayhem were forced to earn the trophy the hard way, after dropping its second tournament game 6-2 to the Salinas Storm. The team was able to handle the entire loser’s bracket, earning two chances at the Foothill Gold they wouldn’t waste.
“I was really shocked and overjoyed that we really won it,” Johnson said of the state title. “I know that I really wanted to go there and represent our organization well.”
The Mayhem earned the title shot after atoning the loss to the Storm with a 5-1 victory to eliminate Salinas’ only squad. In need of back-to-back victories, the Mayhem blanked the Gold 4-0 in the first game and then 9-1 in the championship.
“Personally, I didn’t think we were going to win it because we had to battle back through all of those games,” Walljasper said. “But we just continued to fight.
“Throughout the whole tournament we all just continued to battle.”
The tandem was more than just two girls on the squad from Manteca, with Walljasper hitting in the three-hole and Johnson batting clean-up. The two also formed a battery that proved effective, holding a Gold team to one run in two games after scoring 10 runs in the previous two.
The accomplishment falls into a long line of Mayhem program honors. The Mayhem has clearly established a tradition, giving the younger level players certain aspirations to continue their climb in the game of softball.
“The thing about this group, is when we played this year there wasn’t a fear about playing other teams,” Mayhem head coach Brian Johnson said. “It was just about how good we would do against them.
“Those two girls have done it all year long; it’s been a deal where you wonder where they are going to hit it, not if.”
They have a long road in front of them, but with the appreciation they have for softball, continued success in the game should not be too difficult a task.
Walljasper doesn’t have to look far for inspiration. She is the younger sister of Sierra High star freshman pitcher Allison Walljasper, the 2011 Bulletin All-Area MVP who lef the Timberwolves to their first Valley Oak League and Sac-Joaquin section titles.
“I love softball and I think that I will be playing for a long time,” Walljasper said. “Over time, I think I am going to be playing exactly like my sister.”