Sierra pitcher Lindsey Walljasper put the hammer down when she had to Wednesday.
With the Timberwolves clinging to a one-run lead in the fifth inning against visiting Atwater, the Falcons loaded the bases with two outs. Walljasper not only struck out the next batter to end the threat, she struck out the five after that to lead Sierra to a 2-1 non-league win at Sierra High.
“I knew it was going to be a good game,” Timberwolves coach Vic DeAnda said. “The last three years we played them the games have all been tough. “
Walljasper, a sophomore, finished with 15 strikeouts.
“That’s one thing good about her,” DeAnda said. “As young as she is, when she gets in trouble it just doesn’t faze her. She just does her job – she knows we need a strikeout and she gets it.”
Walljasper sprinkled six hits over her seven innings of work and walked two.
“I just try hitting my spots and not to let the team down,” Walljasper said. “Because I don’t want them working any harder then what they already have to.
“I just try hitting my spots and throwing strikes.”
Alert base running gave the Timberwolves (2-0) a 1-0 lead in the first inning. Kendell Messersmith singled with two out and advanced to second on an error. A throw to try to nab Messersmith at second sailed into center field and then past the center fielder, allowing Messersmith came all the way home
“I just heard ‘go’ and I kept going,” Messersmith said. “I saw the ball get behind her in the outfield and I just ran.
“We have been a little disappointed that the rain has kept us from playing so we were anxious to get out here and play.”
Atwater (2-1) scored in the second inning on a delayed steal by Brittany Massa when Megan Escobar stole second.
Maddie Penner laced a leadoff triple to right to start the Sierra third and came home on a single by Legacy Barnes.
“That triple felt good,” Penner said. “Because I didn’t have that great of a hitting season last year. It felt good to get that hit.”
Atwater left runners in scoring position in second, fourth and fifth innings.
“It was a tight game,” Falcons coach Robert Santistevan said. “We were one or two hits away.
“We are always happy to come to Manteca and play Sierra. It is always a good game and we look forward to seeing them again next year.”