By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Nayellys Torres breaks Manteca record for career strikeouts in win over EU
East Union-Manteca softball
Manteca second baseman Riley Ward (4) forces East Union’s Sienna Owen (2) at first. - photo by SEAN KAHLER

 Manteca’s career strikeout record was 437 coming into its crosstown Valley Oak League softball contest against visiting East Union on Tuesday.

Not anymore.

In the seventh inning, Manteca hurler Nayellys Torres notched up her 438th career strikeout, her sixth of the day against five hits, to help lead the Buffaloes to a 4-1 win.

East Union-Manteca softball
Manteca’s Nayellys Torres set the career strikeout record for the Buffaloes on Tuesday. - photo by SEAN KAHLER
“We knew there was a chance Nelly could break the record,” Manteca coach Josh Farris said. “I think that was her goal. She knew about it, and it was in the back of her head, and she knew she was getting close. It was cool to do that in the seventh inning against a rival like that. It was a good experience for her.

“As for the game, nothing is ever routine with East Union. It is always a great rivalry, and they had our number for a number of years, so we are always scratching and clawing against them.”

With the score tied 1-1 going into the third inning, Lauren Moncada led off the frame for the Buffaloes (4-1 VOL, 12-3 overall) with a double and came home on a pair of wild pitches to put Manteca ahead 2-1. Following walks to Sienna Lowery and Maleiah Garza (2 for 2, RBI, run) with Jocelyn Baptist reaching on an error to load the bases, Torres roped a two-RBI double to score Lowery and Garza.

“Coming in, my mom had been in my ear the whole time,” Torres said. “So, I tried not to think about the record, play my game and keep spinning the ball like I have always been doing. It was a really sweet moment.

“I play with (East Union pitcher) Mikayla (Simpson), and I know she’s a great pitcher and I knew she was going to throw strikes. So, I knew I had to stay inside the ball and keep my head in.”

Moncada was the leadoff batter and went 2 for 4 with a double and two runs.

“I think of every at-bat as a normal at-bat,” Moncada said. “I just think about me against the pitcher, see the ball hit the ball, and let everything happen.”

The Buffaloes took a 1-0 lead in the first inning when Garza singled in Moncada. The Lancers (1-4, 11-7) answered back in the top of the second. Following singles by Tallon Norman (run), Mackenzie Nervis (2 for 3) and Dillon Blevins (2 for 3), Isabelle Reyes was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded, plating Norman for the lone East Union run.

“It was a pretty even game,” Lancers coach Matt Cooper said. “One inning they capitalized on a couple of mistakes, their bats came alive and they got some runs.

“Other than that, it was a good game all the way through.”

Both teams host Thursday at 4 p.m. with Sierra traveling to East Union and Kimball playing at Manteca.