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Big inning pushes West past Manteca
Manteca pitcher Selena Gonzalez meets West’s Allison Noble at the plate during a steal attempt in the top of the third inning of Tuesday’s non-league contest. - photo by JONAMAR JACINTO
West High’s softball team didn’t waste any time pushing two run across the plate and that wouldn’t be all the Wolf Pack would tally in an 11-2 non-league victory over the host Manteca Buffaloes Tuesday.

Manteca (2-1) got itself in the hole quickly, as West scored two runs in its first five at-bats, cruising to an early lead and an easy victory. West would add two runs in the third, one in the fourth and push things out of reach with a six-run fifth inning.

“I think we just fell apart in that fifth inning,” Manteca head coach Todd Hardcastle said. “They scored six in that one inning, and if you look back, our pitcher did pretty well, but you have to play defense behind her.

“We definitely have a lot of work ahead of us.”

West was efficient in the batter’s box, getting quality at-bats from up-and-down the lineup. With runners on, the Wolf Pack consistently bunted runners over and drove them in by going the other way. Each of West’s RBI hits came from opposite field hits.

Allison Noble was the major run producer for the Wolf Pack, going 3 for 4 with a single, two doubles and five RBIs. Brianna May tied Manteca in down in the circle, going seven innings and holding the Buffaloes to just four hits and striking out seven.

“I thought she pitched a full seven innings,” West head coach Steve Anastasio said. “We were worried that she would only get us four or five innings, but this game she got a full seven in. We’re real proud of her.

“She showed great control and the defense played great behind her.”

Manteca hurler Selena Gonzalez was not afforded that luxury, surrendering just five earned runs of the 11 scored and getting two outs prior to runs being scored in each inning West scored.

“Selena is only a freshman and she’s only thrown like two or three innings this year,” Hardcastle said. “And we really just wanted to see what she had. We already knew what West had, we  knew they were a great program, so we just threw her out there; to the lions so to speak.

“That’s the only way she’s going to learn and I thought she did a great job.”

Manteca could not string together anything positive offensively, breaking out for its only two runs in the bottom of the fifth inning trailing 11-0.  Danielle Roberts led off the inning with a walk and came around to score on a two-out, RBI double from Mia Ramirez. Mariah Navarro followed Ramirez’ double with a laser single to right field, plating Ramirez for Manteca’s only runs.

Gonzalez did all she could do to help her cause, collecting two of the Buffaloes’ four hits on infield singles.

Manteca will try and get back on the right track in Mariposa when they open play in the Argonaut Tournament Friday.