East Union teed off for 14 hits and three two-run home runs with Sierra ace Lindsey Walljasper not pitching in a 15-1 mercy-shortened win for the Lancers at Northgate Softball Complex on Thursday.
East Union (12-0, 22-3 overall) clinched the outright Valley Oak League championship and has claimed three straight titles.
“I think a lot of our success had to do with Lindsey (Walljapser) pitching Wednesday against Oakdale,” East Union coach Brian Goulart said. “I know that strategy-wise they need to beat Kimball on Friday so they saved her for that.
“It made a big difference obviously for us offensively as she is phenomenal — just top notch. We had a chance to swing the bats today and we did. Our approaches were good and there was good energy on our team and Mikayla Bongi pitched great.”
The first four batters of the game reached for the Lancers: Izabella Owen (single), Allie Tajii (error) Alexis Erich (double) and Kristina Mojica (single). Erich doubled in Owen and Tajii and came in on a sacrifice bunt by Danyelle Godoy. Delaney Pamplin (home run, three RBI) came up next and belted a two-run home run to score Mojica (3 for 3, two runs) for a 5-0 lead.
“My bat has been kind of missing this whole season,” Pamplin said. “So, it felt good to hit that home run and get my bat back for the team.”
East Union added two more yard shots in the second inning – the first on a two-run shot by Alexis Erich (3 for 4, five RBI, home run, double).
“I was more focused than usual and I was really excited for this game,” Erich said. “It was for breast cancer. There were a lot of people coming out for it and the atmosphere was really good.
“I have also been working on seeing the ball better. I guess it paid off.”
Ragan Fowzer had the third Lancers blast of the night, plating Danielle Ramos for an 11-0 East Union lead after two innings.
“This was the first home run of my career,” Fowzer said. “I was just looking for a good pitch to hit and I thought it just a long line drive, so I went to stop at second base and I ended up missing second.
“So I went back, tagged it and then went home.”
Bongi had a no-hitter going until the top of the fifth when Samantha Lorge led off the frame for the Timberwolves (9-4, 10-9) with a solo home run to make the score, 15-1.
Bongi struck out six and walked one, allowing just two balls out of the infield before Lorge’s blast.
“As usual, my defense did a great job,” Bongi said. “I felt really confident and in command out there.”
Pinch hitter Ariana Harris laced a two-RBI double in the fourth, scoring Fowzer and Izabella Owen.
A game ahead of Oakdale going into Thursday, Sierra wraps up regular-season play on the road against Kimball today, and the Mustangs conclude their league campaign Tuesday when they host East Union. Sierra, Manteca and Oakdale are joining East Union in the playoffs with the final games determining seedings.
“We have Kimball on Friday and then we will see where we are for the playoffs,” Timberwolves coach Vic DeAnda said. “She (Walljasper) has pitched two games already this week and that was 16 innings so we wanted to give her a rest. We did what we could do out there today.”