Two days after pitching a perfect game against rival Manteca, Sierra ace Lindsey Walljasper didn’t get the nod for the Timberwolves’ rematch with once-beaten Oakdale on Thursday.
The visiting Mustangs tagged Madisyn Anchundo for 14 hits in five innings and rolled 20-3 in what is the first double-digit defeat for Sierra since its 2014 semifinal loss to East Union.
Oakdale’s Fresno State-bound Kindra Hackbarth was a double shy of hitting for the cycle, going 4 for 5 with four runs and four RBIs. Grace Green added a two-run homer and double, finishing 2 for 5 with three runs.
Oakdale previously beat Sierra 7-1 on April 6.
“Today was Maddy’s rotation day,” Sierra coach Vic DeAnda said. “It was her day to throw and I think she did a really good job.”
Anchundo finished with five strikeouts but hit five batters and walked three. She didn’t get much help, as the defense committed eight errors.
“There was a lack of focus today,” Sierra shortstop Kendelle Messersmith said. She was one of five seniors honored before the contest. “We didn’t play to our potential and we let it get to us.”
Messersmith provided one of the few highlights for the playoff-bound Timberwolves (9-4 Valley Oak League, 12-3 overall), who captured the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV title last year. After Oakdale spotted freshman pitcher Lexi Webb a three runs in the top of the first inning, Messersmith walloped a full-count offering and drove it over the straightaway center-field fence.
“I think it was a riser,” Messersmith said. “I knew she had a riseball so I kept my hands up and just let my hands free.”
Sierra scored the rest of its runs in the third, getting an RBI triple from Devi Coglio who was then driven in by Legacy Barnes’ fielder’s choice. That barely dented Oakdale’s gaping lead, which stood at 14-3 after the Timberwolves’ short-lived rally.
Oakdale (11-1, 17-1) went through its loaded lineup three times before Sierra could get through its order once. Maddy Brewer, batting from the No. 7 spot, contributed three RBIs and a double in her 2-for-3 outing, and No. 9 hitter Brittany Bye went 2 for 2 and plated a pair of runs.
The Mustangs broke it open with a six-run second inning highlighted by Hackbarth’s two-RBI triple backed by Green’s jack to right center. Hackbarth hit her homer in the third when Oakdale rallied for five more runs.
“They’re a great team and they hit the ball real well,” DeAnda said. “We fought and scored three runs, but at the end of the day they just outdid us.”
Oakdale hosts Central Catholic next Tuesday before welcoming undefeated East Union on May 10 with a VOL championship share likely on the line. Sierra ends the regular season at Kimball on Tuesday.
“We can’t take them lightly, they’re a really good team, too,” DeAnda said. “After that we’ll be ready for the playoffs. I don’t know if we’re going to be D3 or D4 yet but wherever they put us is OK with us. I think we can compete with any of them.
“That’s the thing with the VOL; (teams) are so darn tough that by the time you get to the playoffs you’ve seen everything.”