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Oakdale routs Sierra in VOL opener
Sierra High speedster Iyana Hughes takes her lead off third base as head coach Nick Olmo looks on Tuesday against host Oakdale. - photo by Ike Dodson
Sierra High’s upstart softball team hoped to make a statement Tuesday when it opened the Valley Oak League season at Oakdale, home of the two-time defending champion.

But Oakdale let the Timberwolves know they have a ways to go with their surprisingly one-sided 9-2 win.

Sierra (0-1, 6-1-1 overall) suffered its first loss of the season, committing three errors for five unearned runs in the process.

The tone was set early.

In the first inning, Sierra took advantage of an infield error from Oakdale, which allowed Daylynn Penner to score the first of her two runs. But in the bottom half the Timberwolves had an error go for two runs, and it was an uphill climb from there.

“It was a hemorrhage we couldn’t stop,” Sierra coach Nick Olmo said. “It’s not the way we expected to start league, but if it had to happen I’d rather it happen this early. Maybe this gives them a little kick in the butt, a little reminder that it’s not going to be a cakewalk.

“Everybody wants it as bad as they do, so hopefully they can pull it together the rest of the way.”

The contest featured last year’s all-league Pitcher of the Year and an up-and-comer poised to take her place in the coming years.

Sierra did well to make contact against Brianna Parker (six strikeouts, eight hits allowed), but Oakdale was able to get their hacks in against freshman Allison Walljasper (eight strikeouts, seven hits, four earned runs).

Oakdale was well ahead by the seventh inning when Sierra scratched across its final run driven in by Sommer Wilson (2 for 4, 2B). Elia Vasquez had a chance to drive in two more with a towering shot to left, but Oakdale’s left fielder made a nice over-the-shoulder catch at the warning track for the final out of the game.

Marissa Toy (2 for 4, 2B) and Sarah Peterson (2 for 3, 3B) led the Mustangs (1-0, 7-2-1).

“We hit the ball hard a lot, but many of those were caught,” Olmo said. “We left nine runners stranded and couldn’t get the hits we needed at the right time to push runs across.

“We were allowing the little things to happen to us along the way, like not completing plays and letting them run the bases on us a little. It’s stuff we need to take care of to stay with a team like Oakdale.”

Weather permitting, Sierra will have its first game at home Thursday against Lathrop.

East Union 5, Kimball 4
At Northgate Softball Complex, East Union (1-0, 4-4-1) avoided a second straight come-from-behind defeat. Kimball of Tracy, playing its first year as a varsity program, plated three runs at the top of the seventh.

In their non-league finale last week, the Lancers were up 5-2 before getting burned by late-inning rallies against Calaveras.

Kelsey Emerson had a big night at the plate, going 2 for 3 with three RBIs. Jillian Goulart drove in two huge runs with two outs in the fifth inning to give EU a 3-1 lead. Salina Tiscareno was also 2 for 3, as the Lancers swatted 11 total hits.

Freshman pitcher Kristin Borst earned the win.

The Lancers will next play at Manteca High Thursday.

Weston Ranch 6, Lathrop 4
At Lathrop, Weston Ranch (1-0, 4-6) was powered by Alexandria Alvarado’s two-run homer in the third inning, and DeArbia Gardner’s pinch-hit jack in the sixth.

Reianna Dominguez (two RBIs) and Serena Hernandez were each 2 for 4 for the Cougars, and Arianna Hernandez (five strikeouts, nine hits) was the winning pitcher.

Joslyn Terra paced the Spartans (0-1, 2-5) with a 3-for-4 effort that includes two doubles, a triple, two RBIs and a run. Pitcher Alicia Erlandson (six hits, four earned runs) went 2 for 4 with a double, RBI and a run.