OAKDALE — Even with the title already in its possession, there was still plenty at stake for East Union’s softball team on Tuesday when it ended the regular season at Oakdale.
The Lancers put the finishing touches on their perfect Valley Oak League season, outslugging traditional rival Oakdale, 10-4. East Union (14-0, 24-3 overall) continued its recent tear on offense, tagging the Mustangs (9-5, 18-9) for 18 hits. Only one of them went for extra bases.
“I think we’re peaking extremely well on both sides of the ball,” East Union coach Brian Goulart said. “We’re certainly hitting it at the highest clip all year. The depth of our lineup, the bottom of the lineup is starting to swing it. We’re getting ready for the playoffs.”
East Union broke it open with a six-run fifth inning that gave it a commanding 9-1 lead. Izabella Owen sparked a barrage of seven singles in eight at-bats. The Lancers earlier had four consecutive singles in a three-run rally in the third.
Alexis Erich went 4 for 5 with three RBIs. Allie Tajii hit a double and finished 3 for 5 with a pair of runs. Danielle Ramos was 3 for 3 with a walk. Kristina Mojica and Owen each went 2 for 4 with two RBIs.
Winning pitcher Mikayla Bongi struck out seven in five innings. Delaney Pamplin gave up two unearned runs in relief, and the tandem scattered six hits.
Cross-town rivals Manteca and Sierra end up four games back and tied for second. Oakdale is the VOL’s fourth Sac-Joaquin Section playoff qualifier. The postseason begins next Tuesday, May 16.
“There’s a pride factor in going undefeated, especially in a pretty darned good league,” Goulart said. “This was supposed to be a rebuilding year for us after graduating five seniors. We’ve had girls who are really good players bide their time and got their turn. We’re riding high going into the playoffs after running the gauntlet in our league.”
Ripon Christian 10,
Denair 0 (5)
DENAIR — The Knights (10-4, 14-6 overall) roll into the SJS Division VI playoffs having won four straight and seven of their last eight.
Willem Hoekstra fanned eight batters in a mercy-shortened one-hitter. Ripon Christian scored five runs in the top of the fifth for the double-digit lead.
Jake Groshong drove in four runs, hit one of RC’s three triples and finished 2 for 4 at the plate. Declan Van Vuren (double, two RBIs), Brock Nunes and Hoekstra (two runs, triple) contributed two hits apiece.
East Union 2, Oakdale 1
OAKDALE — The Lancers secured a piece of the VOL championship behind Haley Leonard’s complete-game gem. She finished with seven strikeouts.
Marcella Hansen went 3 for 3 with a steal. Mackenzie Salgado (run) and Cali Blevins-Bronder (RBI double, run) both finished 2 for 3.