Sommer Wilson bounced on the rubber, twirling the neon orb in her hand.
The hard-hitting middle infielder finished Wednesday’s 7-1 victory over Ripon in the pitcher’s circle, relieving all-world talent Allie Walljasper.
Wilson better get comfortable.
Sierra coach Nick Olmo will lean on Wilson – and a host of other players if he has to – while he rests Walljasper, the Bulletin’s two-time All-Area player of the year.
The junior bruised her right heel – her plant foot – during a tournament last weekend at Rainbow Fields. She won’t pitch in today’s non-league contest against Argonaut.
Olmo isn’t overly concerned. He just wants to be cautious with Valley Oak League play on the horizon. The Timberwolves open league play at Oakdale next Wednesday.
“I’ve got a whole team full of second pitchers,” Olmo said. “(Argonaut will) see a lot of off-speed stuff. It should be a good defensive challenge for the team.”
Walljasper started Wednesday’s game and showed no ill-effects, recording the first 11 outs of the game via the strikeout.
She retired 11 of the first 12 batters, finishing with 12 strikeouts in five innings of one-hit ball.
Indian clean-up hitter Nicole Fraser enjoyed the only success against Walljasper.
The Loyola Marymount signee reached on a walk to lead off the second inning and then tomahawked a double into the gap in the fourth inning.
“That’s a Division I pitcher,” Ripon coach Robert Vernon said, “but (Fraser’s) not in awe of that.”
The Timberwolves (8-0) continued a season-long trend, scoring in spurts.
Wilson crushed two doubles and drove in three runs. The oft-injured senior started the season with just one hit in her first 12 at-bats, but went 3 for 4 on Wednesday.
She chased courtesy runner Kendelle Messersmith around with a drive into the right-center field gap in the first inning.
She later highlighted a five-run fifth inning with a two-run ground rule double, plating Katelyn Salsedo and Iyana Hughes.
“She was starting to get down on herself,” Olmo said. “After Game 2, she was right there – hitting the ball hard every game.”
Katelynn Perkins and Gabby Olmo also had RBI singles in the fifth as the Timberwolves roughed up Danielle Sperry, a left-handed freshman.
“We were kind of slow out of the chute, but that’s the way we’ve been playing all season,” Olmo said. “We’ve been spreading the scoring out. The fifth and sixth innings, that’s when we’ve been scoring most of our runs. It’s when we’ve seen a pitcher for the third time.”
Hughes went 2 for 3 with a double and two runs scored, Lexus Barnes legged out two infield singles and Walljasper reached base three times. She rotated to first base when Wilson came on in relief in the sixth inning, showing only a slight limp.
Ripon scored its only run on an RBI double by Tiana Chacon in the sixth inning.
Darian Vandermaaten reached on an error to start the inning and moved into scoring position with a stolen base.
She scored with ease on Chacon’s extra base hit down the left-field line.
The game featured two of the region’s unbeatens. Both teams had won their first seven games of the season, but Sierra – a program gunning for its second Sac-Joaquin Section championship in three years – is a team on different plane.
The Indians are gaining ground, though. They face another stiff test on Friday when Hughson, the reigning Division V champions, come to town.
“We purposely scheduled this game for the 13th because we play Hughson next,” Vernon said. “We wanted to see better pitching and we accomplished everything we wanted to today.”
Manteca 6, Patterson 1
Anissa Gonzalez sparked host Manteca (5-3) with a three-run homer in the second inning, and elder sister Selena Gonzalez added a solo shot in the third before the Buffaloes cruised to victory.
Anissa Gonzalez was one of three Buffaloes to go 2 for 3, the others being Celina Cooper and Nicole Magnuson. Peyton Rose struck out eight in her complete-game four-hitter.