Sometimes you win a game through offense and sometimes through defense.
Sometimes you just steal one. The Sierra softball team stole one from Manteca on Thursday.
The game was locked in a scoreless tie in the bottom of the sixth inning when Tayler Moss laced a two-out double for the Timberwolves and Julie DeAnda followed that with a single. DeAnda rounded first to draw a throw, and on the throw to first Moss took home for the go-ahead and eventual winning run in the 1-0 Valley Oak League thriller at Sierra High.
“I had to keep going back and forth to get Tayler home,” DeAnda said. “And I had to make sure that I didn’t get out.”
Lindsey Walljasper went the distance for Sierra (8-3 VOL, 14-4 overall), throwing a no-hitter and striking out eight. Walljasper set down 10 of the last 11 batters she faced, including setting the side down in order the last inning.
“I was just trying to hit my spots,” Walljasper said. “I was trying just get groundouts.
“I am so proud of the defense and the way we work as a team together.”
Moss (3 for 3, double) was facing a 2-2 count when she stroked her double.
“I saw it all the way to the barrel,” Moss said. “As soon as it came off the bat I knew it was going to be at least a double.
“We work on that play in just in case we have those days where we don’t hit very well then we have to depend on out base running and defense.”
Timberwolves coach Vic Deanda realizes his team was fortunate to get the win.
“The last couple of games we have been pretty flat,” Coach DeAnda said. “I was wondering how we were going to come out for this one. It was an ugly game but we will take that win.”
Haighley Kissee allowed just one Sierra baserunner to third before the sixth inning and had scattered just four singles before Moss’s double.
“Kissee threw a great game for us and I am happy with where we are at,” Buffaloes coach Corey Navarro said. “But the win would have had us tied for third with Sierra.”
With three games remaining in league play, Manteca (6-5, 13-7) is two-games behind the third-place Timberwolves and at least one game ahead of Kimball and Central Catholic – depending on Thursday’s results – for the fourth and final playoff slot.
“The girls were pressing because they knew if we won we would be in the playoffs,” Navarro said. “They were probably thinking a little too much at the plate and it came down to who made the first mistake, and they capitalized on that mistake.”
East Union 14,
Central Catholic 1 (5)
In Modesto, Cherish Burks set the tone with a leadoff home run, and the first-place Lancers (11-0, 21-2) rolled to a mercy-shortened victory.
Alexis Erich blasted a three-run homer in the third and finished 2 for 3 with five RBIs. Michelle Castro (triple), Samantha Owen (double), Alejandra Rascon, Amy Gann and Deja Guzman added two knocks apiece. At one point, seven straight batters scored for East Union before the club eased off the pedal.
Delaney Pamplin pitched four innings and Mikayla Bongi threw one.
Sierra 8, Manteca 5
The Buffaloes fell short despite a productive day at the plate.
Asucena Mendiola was 3 for 4 with two doubles. One of Koryn Menasco’s base hits went for a double. Eli Murrieta went 2 for 4 with a double. Danielle Burch also roped a two-bagger.