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Buffs walk off with win
Manteca caps Nor-Cal tourney with thrilling last-inning victory
Trina Solario dives safely back to first Saturday at the Tracy Sports Complex. Manteca fell to Hughson, 9-1, in Game 1, before clipping Merced in the nightcap, 2-1. - photo by BRANDON PETERSEN
TRACY — Manteca head softball coach Todd Hardcastle didn’t think twice about helping out Nick Olmo and the Sierra High Timberwolves Saturday during the Nor-Cal Classic softball tournament held at the Tracy Sports Complex.

With Sierra’s Prom scheduled for Saturday night, the Timberwolves asked Manteca to switch spots so the Sierra players, originally scheduled to play at 5 and 7 p.m., would have time to celebrate with the rest of their classmates.

With the switch, however, Manteca had to take on Sierra’s schedule, which meant a meeting with two daunting opponents – Hughson and Merced.

After seven fielding errors turned a close contest with the Huskies into a 9-1 blowout loss, Manteca finished off the tournament with a thrilling 2-1 win over Merced.

Down 1-0 heading into the bottom of the seventh, Trina Solario led off with a single and was moved around by Raylynn Saint’s sacrifice bunt.

After Melissa Bond (singled) and Alex Tillis (walked) reached, Mariah Navarro hit home Solario to tie the contest.

With two outs two batters later, freshman call-up Tessa Solario smacked the walk-off game-winner past the Merced second baseman.

“We needed the win bad,” Hardcastle said. “We got beat pretty good over the course of the weekend, but to finish off with a win over a decent team really left us with a good feeling. Hopefully we can carry that back into the (Valley Oak League) season.”

Navarro was fantastic in the nightcap, collecting the five-hit win on six strikeouts.

“Mariah was really solid,” Hardcastle said. “She started slowly but really picked it up.”

Kayla Campbell went 2 for 4 against Merced after finished 2 for 3 against Hughson.

Hardcastle says Campbell’s bat has really started to heat up, and the Manteca skipper heaped a large helping of praise on Trina Solario for her defensive chops throughout the massive two-day tournament.

“Nick owes me big time,” Hardcastle said with a laugh. “No, we’d do it for East Union too, you have to help out in situations like that.

“We were glad to do it.”

Manteca resumes VOL play with Ceres Monday before taking on Sonora Wednesday.

Bear Creek 4, Sierra 2
Sierra 8, Colfax 0
Nick Olmo was convinced that his players had Prom on the brain Saturday at the Nor-Cal Classic, and the coach had a good argument after errors led to a 4-2 loss in the Game 1.

Gabby Hawkins struck out five and allowed just one earned run, while Monica Morado was 2 for 4 and Emily Silvia was 2 for 3.

Sierra stranded 10 runners.

“The hits weren’t coming when we needed them,” Olmo said. “We couldn’t get any runners across.”

The T’Wolves were anxious for an early exit in Game 2 and walked out of Tracy early with a five-inning blowout win.

Sierra rapped nine knocks, while Morado went 3 for 4.

Heather Scharmann was 3 for 3 with a two-run shot in the fourth.

Hawkins, meanwhile, was outstanding, allowing just two hits and striking out 13.

“We did a great job in the second game, we dominated them,” Olmo said. “Gabby had full control and she was throwing harder than in the first game.”

Olmo thanked the Buffaloes afterward.

“Todd really helped us out,” he said. “We really appreciate it; the girls were looking to get to Prom. I think that was all that was on their minds.”

Sierra (5-2 VOL, 12-5-2) host Central Valley Monday before heading to Ceres Wednesday and hosting Oakdale Friday.

Weston Ranch 9, King’s Academy 2
Sonora 6, Weston Ranch 5
The Cougars wrapped Nor-Cal Classic Bronze Division play 2-2 after splitting a pair Saturday in Tracy.

Angelysa Washington collected the win in the first contest and nearly got the victory in the second after Weston Ranch battled back from a 5-0 deficit with a five-spot in the top of the seventh.

Serena Hernandez hit a triple in the first contest and led off the seventh-inning flurry in the nightcap with a double.

Alexandra Alvarado was 2 for 2 in Game 1, and went 2 for 4 with a triple in Game 2

“I had no complaints,” Weston Ranch head coach Melanie Berezay said. “The kids came out ready to play in the first game. Everyone did their job and it paid off.

“The second game was a rough one, one of those games that you feel you should have won deep down. But the girls came through when they had to. Angelysa pitched a good game.”

Sonora scored the game-winner in the bottom of the seventh on an overthrow.

Weston Ranch hosts Oakdale Monday before meeting Central Valley and Sonora to close the week.

East Union 5, Ceres 0
East Union 5, Roseville 2
The Lancers captured the consolation championship in the platinum bracket with a pair of wins Saturday.

East Union finished the Nor-Cal Classic 3-1 overall.

Manteca 13, East Union (frosh) 5
Manteca 8, Hughson 0
Manteca 8, Patterson 8
Manteca 6, Enochs 6
The Manteca sophomore softball team finished the Nor-Cal Classic with two wins and two ties Saturday at Northgate Park.

Tara Dadasovich racked up the two victories, finishing 5 for 6 with three RBIs, while Tessa Solario went 4 for 6 with two doubles, a triple and three runs batted in.

Dallas Mould and Rochelle Perez each had three RBIs.

In the shutout win over Hughson, Danielle Deerinck tossed a one-hitter.

In the ties, Dadasovich had three hits and an RBI, Mould had two hits and three RBIs, Mia Ramirez had three hits, and Solario had two hits and an RBI.

Manteca takes on Ceres when VOL play resumes Monday.

— Brandon Petersen