One pitch, led to one swing, which led to one run.
The one was enough, but Sierra High would add an insurance run to Iyana Hughes’ leadoff homer on the game’s first pitch to beat the host Manteca Buffaloes 2-0 Tuesday in Valley Oak League play.
Hughes lined Peyton Rose’s first offering right back at her into centerfield. The ball screamed underneath the Buffaloes’ centerfielder and the Sierra speedster would score without a throw. More often than not one run is enough for Sierra pitcher Allison Walljasper, and in this contest it would definitely stand up.
“This was a real big comeback from our Oakdale game,” Hughes said. “I had to do better than I did in that last game. I know when I go up to bat that I’m just have to provide runs for her.
“She is going to pitch her heart out and be on her game; so for me, I have to try and provide runs by getting on base.”
Hughes’s effort around the bases was the crucial ingredient for the Timberwolves. In her first at bat, by the time the centerfielder turned her back to the diamond Hughes, rounding first, could taste a run. She got another opportunity in the fifth when her second hit caromed over the right fielder’s head and sent Hughes off to the races again.
She’d settle for a triple the second time.
Walljasper was her usual dominant self, striking out 11 and holding Manteca to a pair of singles. Rose squared a pitch up through the left side for a base hit and Selena Gonzalez had one fall in for the Buffaloes’ only other hit.
“They fought hard, and Peyton really did a great job,” Manteca head coach Corey Navarro said. “I was moving Annissa (Gonzalez) on the pitch and the pitch goes right up the middle where I’d taken her out of. To start off the game with a homer is kind of a downer.”
The Buffaloes continued to claw, only Walljasper would not budge.
Rose struck out seven, hit a batter and walked two, while Walljasper had two walks and also hit a batter.