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Lancers let one get away
Oakdale takes advantage of errors to down defending champs
East Union third baseman Rochelle Sellers holds onto the ball after tagging out Oakdale’s Katy Rissetto on a steal attempt. - photo by HIME ROMERO
Oakdale capitalized on its opportunities, and East Union didn’t.

East Union stranded 10 runners and made two costly errors in a 3-1 loss under the lights of Northgate Softball Complex Friday.

Oakdale (2-0 Valley Oak League, 8-1-1 overall) got the defending champion’s attention early with Marissa Toy’s leadoff double, and she advanced two bases to score on a throwing error after a steal attempt.

The Mustangs plated their final run in the seventh after a misplayed pop-up-turned-infield-single for Heather Snow and a dropped ball on Toy’s fly to shallow left scored Alanna Jones with two outs.

“I wouldn’t say they took advantage, I’d say we handed it to them,” East Union coach Brian Goulart said. “They played very well and I fully respect that team, but we didn’t catch a pop-up and dropped a fly ball in the seventh inning. That can’t happen, not at this level.”

Oakdale, to its credit, made the plays when it had to despite two errors. And East Union was able to keep the pressure on sophomore pitcher Brianna Parker all night but left runners in scoring position in the first, second and sixth innings.

Oakdale got a big out in the sixth when Toy picked up a routine grounder in the second-base hole and gunned down Cherie DeJesus (reached on leadoff error) at the plate. Parker struck out the next batter to survive the threat unscathed.

“That was the best defense I’ve seen in a long time right there,” Goulart said. “I was so excited with how we swung the bats; we didn’t get the big clutch hits. We had a ton of opportunities.”

Alicia Cook was 3 for 3 for the Lancers, who rapped out eight hits. Brittany LaMar (2 for 4) drove in Jillian Goulart (singled) in the seventh for East Union’s lone run.

Monique Galvan doubled Oakdale’s early lead with an RBI single to left and finished 2 for 3.

East  Union pitcher Kourtni McCall battled through a rough first inning in which she scattered three hits and was solid the rest of the way. She struck out five, walked one and had three 1-2-3 innings.

“McCall competed,” coach Goulart said. “She deserved better, and all the girls know that.”

Goulart isn’t concerned after his Lancers (7-3 overall) split their first two VOL contests, but he expects more battles ahead with Ceres at home and Sierra across town up next. He made it a point after the game to tell his players that his 2004 team started league 0-2 but went on to win a Sac-Joaquin Section championship.

 “I think we have that kind of team that has that kind of heart and that kind of fight,” he said. “I saw some signs of good things to come.”