Manteca’s softball team came out swinging in Friday’s Valley Oak League contest at Oakdale.
Sierra Martinez drove in Haighley Kissee with the first of her two doubles, and just like that the Buffaloes were ahead in the top of the first inning against the defending Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV champion.
“Then the bats went flat,” Manteca coach Corey Navarro said.
That wasn’t the case for the Mustangs, who clocked 11 hits on their way to a statement win, 9-1.
“We came back out in the second inning and went down 1-2-3,” Navarro said. “The bats turned off and it just carried over into the next inning. The girls were not giving up but it was as if they were mesmerized because that hadn’t happened to us yet this season.”
Kindra Hackbarth came up with the biggest blow for Oakdale (3-1 VOL, 8-5 overall). With the Mustangs already up 4-1, Hackbarth tagged a bases-clearing triple that was also misplayed by a Manteca outfielder in the fourth inning. Hackbarth scored on a throwing error in the same sequence.
Kissee did well to settle down from the pitcher’s circle and finish out the rest of the game. It was a duel featuring two promising underclassmen, as Oakdale freshman Grace Green tossed the first five innings before making way to Melanie Benge.
Navarro was impressed with his young hurler’s resolve.
“She shut them down after that third inning,” Navarro said. “It was a good learning experience.”
It gets no easier for the Buffaloes (3-1, 7-2), who hosts Sierra next Tueday.
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The struggles continued for injury-plagued Sierra (0-4 VOL, 3-10-1 overall) at Daniel Teicheira Memorial Stadium.
The visiting Raiders (3-0-1, 5-0-2) scored twice in the first half before running away with it. Sierra has given up five goals in each of its first four VOL matches but faced the league’s top four squads in the process. Next Monday the Timberwolves head to Lathrop, another club seeking its first VOL win of the season.