It was home sweet home for East Union’s five seniors during a Valley Oak League “away” softball game against Central Catholic, which does not have its own field to host games.
Michelle Castro continued her season-long barrage with three home runs, and East Union rolled to a 12-2 victory to remain undefeated. Castro finished 4 for 5 with four runs scored and six RBIs. She and her fellow seniors combined for 16 hits.
“It wasn’t our Senior Night but I wish it was,” East Union coach Brian Goulart said. “It was outrageous.
Central Catholic (2-6 VOL, 4-9) momentarily had an upset in the making after plating its two runs in the bottom of the fourth to stake a 2-1 lead. Castro’s solo shot represented East Union’s lone run up until that point, and she blasted the others in the fifth and sixth innings. She has four total home runs — five for the season — since signing with William Penn on April 20.
Not to be outdone, Taylor Ward, who signed with Colorado State alongside Castro last week, belted her second homer and went 3 for 4. Sam Owen, Alejandra Rascon and Deja Guzman added three hits apiece. Starting pitcher Mikayla Bongi was 2 for 3 and threw six innings in a combined four-hitter with Delaney Pamplin.
Ripon Christian 6,
DENAIR — Katie O’Leary struck out six in a two-hit gem for the Knights (3-7 Southern League, 6-11-1 overall) and also hit a home run and a double on offense.
Bethany Silveira chipped in two hits and a run. Kristin King and Jamie Shipley each contributed an RBI.
Ripon 6, Hilmar 2
RIPON — Angelo Baciocco was 3 for 4 with two RBIs and a triple, and Jack Mayer struck out eight in a two-hit masterpiece that keeps Ripon (7-0, 17-3 overall) alone in first place in the Trans-Valley League.
Hilmar (5-2, 10-10) scored a run in each of the first and seventh innings but was done in by three-run rallies from the Indians in the third and sixth. Ripon raked 11 knocks and got two doubles from Matthew DeDonatis. Mayer also came up with two hits.
Ripon Christian 2, Denair 1
DENAIR — Ripon Christian (11-0, 14-6 overall) got some resistance from fifth-place Denair (4-6-1, 5-8-1) as it continued its march toward a perfect Southern League season.
Abby Buitrago scored on a penalty kick in the 30th minute, and Jessica Van Vliet zipped a header past Denair keeper Selena Ortiz on a corner kick for a needed insurance goal early in the second half. The Knights held on for the win after Denair cut the lead in half in the 63rd minute.
Central Catholic 190,
East Union 202
Trevor Baum’s impressive 3-under 34 was not enough for East Union (11-2) to overcome the VOL’s top team. Baum scored birdies on holes 2, 4, 5 and 9 and nearly had a fifth but missed a 2-foot putt.
Mike Lozano contributed with a 40, Manuel Telles and Ezra Lendhardt carded 42s and Ryan Lee rounded out scoring with a 44.
Nick O’Brien finished 1-under 36 for Central Catholic (14-0), which goes into next Monday’s league tournament at Saddle Creek Golf Resort in the driver’s seat for the title.
“I was pretty pleased with the effort, we just had too many bad holes, some doubles (bogeys) that we have to tighten up,” East Union coach Dennis Wells said. “The 202 is a solid score and could have been a little better, but going into the VOL tournament I’m pretty happy with what I’m seeing from the guys right now.”
Ripon 186, Riverbank DQ
RIPON — Ripon (10-1) got the automatic win after Riverbank showed up at Jack Tone Golf Course with just two players.
Connor Larkin and Rhet Herrin paced the Indians, each scoring a 3-over 34. Trent Hawes (37), Luis Candido (40) and Garrett Avila (41) also factored into the scoring.
East Union 8, Sierra 3
Anthony Contreras hit 2 for 4 with two RBIs while pitching six innings in a combined three-hitter for East Union (8-1, 12-4), which remain in first place in the VOL. Sammy Nieves struck out two in seventh inning to close it out.
Andrew Mount (two runs, RBI, triple) and Jose Alaniz were both 2 for 3 on offense.