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Sierras No. 8, 9 batters hammer key doubles to beat EU
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Sierra Highs Lily Gonzales follows through after connecting for what would be a two-run double in the fourth inning against visiting East Union. - photo by JONAMAR JACINTO

Sierra High pitcher Allie Walljasper was her usual dominant self Tuesday against visiting rival East Union, and the supporting cast did more than enough in a 3-0 victory.

The bottom half of the order did most of the damage, as No. 6 batter Gabby Olmo sparked a five-hit, three-run fourth inning with a leadoff single to left. Brianne Lenoci and Lily Gonzales, the eighth and ninth hitters, followed with back-to-back doubles.

“We’ve always been (preaching) that it’s a team thing,” said Sierra coach Olmo, whose club improved to 4-1 in the Valley Oak League and 7-2-1 overall. “There are nine girls playing this game at all times and any one of them can get this thing going. I know that the front half of our lineup is where a ton of the power is, but the back half comes through with the base hits.”

Gonzales came through with the hit of the game. With runners in scoring position, she took the first offering from East Union’s Kelsey Emerson and poked it to right center for a two-run double.

Then from the top of the order, standout Iyana Hughes kept the one-out rally alive with a triple and was driven home by Gianna Lenoci’s single to left. Lenoci finished 2 for 3 and was the only player to rap multiple hits.

“It felt really good,” Gonzales said. “It’s always good to hit off a friend. Everybody knows each other; we’re all rivals in a way. It was fun.”

Walljasper struck out the side to open the game and ended up with 11 strikeouts to no walks in a three-hitter. She was perfect through three innings until East Union’s No. 1 hitter, Cherish Burks, reached with a well-placed bunt single to the second-base hole in the fourth.

Burks stole two bases to put a runner on third with no outs, but the Lancers went down in order with two standing strikes and a 4-3 groundout.

East Union (2-3, 6-6) again threaten to score in the sixth after Laura Gann and Marissa Romero led off with two straight singles but were both left in scoring position.

“You have got to go up there with a warrior’s mentality because (Walljasper) is the best pitcher around,” East Union coach Brian Goulart said. “You have to give it 100 percent your warrior’s best and that only happened for us in a few spots.”

Emerson, while not as overpowering as her Sierra counterpart, effectively pitched around the Timberwolves’ top hitters. She struck out two, walked three and scattered seven hits.

“She did her job,” Goulart said. “She only gave up three runs to Sierra, which is fantastic, and all in one inning. She threw five shutout innings.”

Sophomore

East Union 3, Sierra 2

Sierra nearly came back from a 3-0 deficit in the bottom of the seventh inning but left the tying run on third.

Kristin Borst fanned 13 strikeouts and gave up four hits for East Union (3-2). Brittany Martin led the offense with a 2-for-4 effort that included a triple and two RBIs. Savina Brandy finished 2 for 2, and Destiny Flores added an RBI triple.

Taylor Moss struck out seven in the pitcher’s circle for Sierra. Anabelle Adair reached three times, going 2 for 2 with a walk.