Manteca High’s softball team won’t be overlooked in the final two weeks of the Valley Oak League season.
The Buffaloes are charging into contention for a Sac-Joaquin Section playoff berth after two dramatic wins this past week. The latest thriller ended with Monique Colunga crushing a line drive single to right to drive in the tying and game-winning runs of a 7-6 victory over visiting Weston Ranch on Friday.
There were three lead changes in the final two innings of play. Manteca (6-4 Valley Oak League, 12-7 overall) was ahead 4-3 going into the seventh before the dangerous Cougars (3-7, 12-10) pieced together a three-run assault.
Peyton Rose (2 for 3, 2 runs, the walk-off hero in Manteca’s 4-3 win over East Union on Wednesday, sparked the final rally with a groundball single. Selena Gonzalez was hit by a pitch, and Celina Cooper reached on an error to load the bases.
Aryanna Martinez then grounded out but drove in Rose. That set the stage for Colunga’s two-run knock, which plated Gonzalez and courtesy runner Kaylee McKee.
Manteca has a rough closing stretch ahead, with VOL title contenders Kimball, Sierra and Oakdale looming.
“We can’t take any team for granted, and I think today we kind of overlooked Weston Ranch,” Manteca coach Corey Navarro said. “Every game is serious now. We can’t afford to lose one.”
While Manteca came up with two exciting wins this week, Weston Ranch goes away losers of two heartbreakers. At Oakdale Wednesday, a controversial strikeout kept the Cougars from plating the go-ahead run in the sixth inning. Deflated, they ended up surrendering eight runs in the bottom of the sixth and losing 12-4.
“I take my hat off to Weston Ranch, they did a great job,” Navarro said. “They just keep battling. They have some talent on their team, and Naomi Thurman is legit.”
Thurman went 4 for 4 and scored twice to pace Weston Ranch. Arianna Hernandez was 2 for 4 with two RBIs, and Vanessa Contreras drove in two runs and plated two others.
East Union 12, Sonora 0
East Union freshman catcher Alejandra Rascon hit a grand slam as the Lancers got back on track Friday with a VOL victory over Sonora.
Rascon finished with five RBIs and a double. Freshman Michelle Castro and junior Savina Brandi combined for a three-hit shutout. Jordan Vinson and Taylor Ward each had two hits and a double while Tea Solorio went 3 for 3.
The Lancers (7-2 VOL, 16-4-1 overall) will play at Kimball Tracy on Monday at 3:30 p.m.
Sierra 13, Kimball 1 (5 innings)
Sierra 10-run ruled host Kimball Tracy on Friday as Arianna Cota (3 for 4) led the T’Wolves with two doubles and three RBIs.
Sierra (7-3 VOL) freshman pitcher Maria Vazquez gave up one walk, tossed seven strikeouts and allowed four hits. All of the Timberwolves’ starters recorded a hit and crossed the plate.
Ripon 6, Modesto Christian 0
Ripon handled business on Senior Night and outshot Modesto Christian 27-3 on Friday.
The Indians (5-2-2 Trans Valley League) received goals from Jordyn Wall, Jessica Carmona, Tia Sidtikun, Brianna Mortimer, Megan Harlan and Brooklyn Joachim.
Ripon led 2-0 at the break and added its other four scores in the final 40 minutes. Ripon senior Michelle Cardova assisted the Indians’ second goal in the 13th minute on a cross to Carmona.
“This positions us nicely for the final three games,” Ripon assistant coach Bryce Perkins said. “We’re in a very strong position (to make the playoffs) if everything works out.
“(Modesto Christian) is sneaky good. They played with 10 players and are trying to restart their program. Eight of them are freshmen and they’re pretty solid. They will be trouble in the future.”
Ripon’s next TVL match will be Wednesday at Riverbank at 4 p.m.
Ripon 16, Modesto Christian 2
Ripon exploded for a big fourth inning and cruised in a TVL rout of Modesto Christian on Friday at home.
Scott Robison (two RBIs) reached base four times and scored three runs. Brandon Scott (eight strikeouts) got the win from the hill. He gave up one run, four hits and one walk.
Ripon (3-3 TVL, 11-9 overall) tallied up nine hits and 12 RBIs. Michael Ysit had a two-run double in the first inning to put the Indians ahead comfortably.
Ripon scored five in the second and nine in the fourth to end the game early after five. Nick Price (2), Ysit (4), Scott (2), Josh Clark, David Goforth (2) and Joey Hvizda (2) all batted in runs.
The Indians will host Riverbank on Wednesday at 4 p.m.