One has to wonder what type of game Kindra Hackbarth would have had if she was healthy.
Battling a shoulder injury, Oakdale’s leadoff batter got hits in her first six at-bats Tuesday and finished 6 for 7 with a double and two runs to help propel the Mustangs to a thrilling 15-10 11-inning win over host Manteca on Tuesday in Valley Oak League softball action.
“She sat out practice yesterday because she was hurt,” Oakdale coach Larry Loger said. “Her shoulder is killing her – she is the real deal and she is only a junior.
“That is the best softball game we have seen in years and years. It was a fun game.”
What was fun for the Mustangs (8-1 VOL, 16-7 overall) was at times frustrating for the Buffaloes (6-4, 13-6). Three of the four Manteca errors resulted in at least one Oakdale run and a Manteca base-running miscue kept a Buffaloes run off of the board.
“We made some mistakes and they capitalized on those mistakes, but we kept battling back,” Manteca coach Corey Navarro said. “We showed a lot of intensity and we never gave up. We played hard and we kept fighting.”
The seventh inning was particularly frustrating for the Buffaloes. One out away from a victory with a two-run lead, Manteca gave up three infield singles that resulted in two runs that sent the game into extra innings.
Oakdale scored three in the top of the ninth to take a 7-4 lead, but Manteca battled back in the bottom of the frame. An RBI double by Rhiannon Genilla (3 for 5, double, RBI) and RBI singles by Beth Aschenbrenner and Haighley Kissee (3 for 4, RBI) tied the game for the Buffaloes.
The Mustangs added two more in the 10th, and again Manteca battled back – this time with a two-run home run by Annissa Gonzalez (3 for 5, home run, three RBI). The clock struck midnight for the Buffaloes in the 11th inning after Oakdale scored five in the top of the frame Manteca went down in order in the bottom.
Morgan Miramontes hit a solo shot in the third inning for her first high school home run that gave Manteca a 4-1 lead.
“It felt good coming off the bat,” Miramontes said. “But I didn’t think it was going to go out.
“But it was exciting.”
Beth Aschenbrenner had the defensive play of the day for the Buffaloes. In the fifth inning with one across for the Mustangs and runners on first and second with two out, Aschenbrenner beat a towering fly ball to the right-field fence and jumped to make the grab, robbing Oakdale of at least one run.
With four games left on the VOL schedule, Manteca is in the fourth and final playoff slot with four losses, behind Sierra with three and Oakdale with one – East Union is in first place and had an undefeated league record going into the Lancers’ Wednesday game with Kimball. Of their final four games, the Buffaloes have one against Sierra and one against East Union.
East Union 12,
Kimball 0 (5)
Michelle Castro blasted a grand slam and finished with five RBIs, while Delaney Pamplin and Mikayla Bongi combined for a two-hitter at Northgate Softball Complex.
Cherish Burks and Taylor Ward each added two hits for the Lancers (10-0, 20-2). Izabella Owen contributed superb play defensively at third base.
Manteca 7, Oakdale 6
Asucena Mendiola reached base five times and went 4 for 4 with two doubles for the Buffaloes.
Danielle Burch was 3 for 4, Koryn Menasco hit two doubles and Eli Murrietta contributed one.
Sierra 7, Lathrop 6
In Lathrop, Naomi Delbarrio and Annalisa Garcia each went 3 for 4 for the host Spartans. Gabby Cantu chipped in with an RBI.