Lindsey Walljaser and Victor DeAnda went out as champions and the spoils that come along with it.
The pitcher-coach combo led Sierra to three Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV championships in four years along with a Valley Oak League co-title this past spring season.
Walljasper, heading to Nebraska, was voted MVP of the VOL, while DeAnda is Coach of the Year in his 11th and final season (fourth as head coach) with the Timberwolves.
Sierra (13-1 VOL, 19-4 overall) shares the league crown with Oakdale, which the Timberwolves defeated 1-0 in their final regular-season contest. Oakdale was undefeated and highly-ranked in the state at the time, and Walljasper outdueled Pitcher of the Year Lexie Webb in one of the best efforts — a 13-strikout, one-hitter — of her sterling career.
Walljasper went 10-1 with a 0.90 ERA in league and amassed 120 strikeouts in 70 innings. She also powered the offense with a .519 batting average, six home runs and 15 RBIs.
Walljasper is a four-time all-league selection who was the 2017 Pitcher of the Year.
“She deserved it a lot,” DeAnda said of Walljasper’s MVP honor. “She’s a very competitive young lady, and in the last (league) game against Oakdale she really showed it. She was pretty dominant against a great offensive team.”
For DeAnda, the Coach of the Year award is his first. He compiled a 69-24 record and led Sierra to its third league title in his four years. He previously served as an assistant under Nick Olmo.
“It’s a good way to go out,” DeAnda said. “The last four years have been amazing, but to go out the way we did, a coach can’t ask for better than that.”
Oregon State-bound East Union shortstop Izabella Owen is Offensive Player of the Year after earning the MVP award last season. Oakdale’s Grace Green and Brittany Bye are Co-Defensive Players of the Year.
Owen registered astronomical numbers in her final go-around with third-place East Union (10-4, 19-8), improving on her impressive stats from her MVP season.
She batted .678 overall from the leadoff spot to go with three homers, 12 doubles, three triples, 29 RBIs, 41 runs and 31 steals — all while striking out just three times. Owen also boasted .724 on-base and .988 slugging percentages.
Sierra, East Union and Manteca (7-7, 14-12) each have two all-league selections while last-place Lathrop (0-14, 1-22) has one.
Shortstop Mia Guevara (.517, 14 runs) and catcher Samantha Lorge (.343, five homers, 18 RBIs), both sophomores, made all-league for Sierra.
Chapman-bound center fielder Allie Tajii (.470, 20 RBIs) and freshman third baseman Alexandra Parker (.506, 35 RBIs) represent East Union on the list. Manteca senior pitcher/outfielder Koryn Menasco (.424, 22 RBIs; 9-8, 3.44 ERA) and senior outfielder Rhiannon Genilla (.315, 23 RBIs) are also on the first team along with Lathrop infielder/pitcher Samantha Sales (.439).
Saint Mary’s College signee Kayla Ching of Manteca is among the All-VOL second-team members from the area. The shortstop is joined by fellow Buffaloes first baseman Kaylee MacDannald and catcher Kaileah Johannsen.
Others on the all-league second team: East Union catcher Danielle Ramos and pitcher Shelby Cefalu; Sierra center fielder Callie Crain and third baseman Nicole Gardner; and Weston Ranch pitcher Sheree White, catcher/shortstop Julianna Lassiter and third baseman Jocelyn Laminero.