After Sommer Wilson’s home run over the centerfield fence knotted the game in the bottom of the fifth, Kimball High fought back with a run in the eighth to pull even with Sierra in the Valley Oak League standings with a 5-4 extra-inning win Thursday.
Wilson drove the first offering out of the park to erase a 4-1 deficit with her three-run shot, lifting a dismal Sierra dugout back into the contest with two innings remaining. Kimball (7-2, 15-4 overall) went in order in the sixth and seventh, but a two-out walk to Arianna Hawkins in the eighth would prove costly.
Hawkins promptly swiped second base after the free pass and when teammate Danielle Lallos reached on an infield single up the middle, Hawkins ferociously rounded third, flying across home plate with the game-winning run.
“I go to every base aggressive,” Hawkins said after the win. “And I knew that our game was on the line and I needed to score.
“So I just kept running hoping that she missed it and I was happy it worked out.”
Sierra (7-2, 10-3-1) mustered a mini-challenge in its final at bat, getting two runners on only to see an infield groundball push the Timberwolves back into common ground with Kimball with two league losses.
“We had a few defensive miscues along the way and probably gave them a couple of runs that they shouldn’t have had,” Sierra head coach Nick Olmo said. “When you’re playing a good team that is going to put the ball down in play they’re going to get on base.
“We just need to be better at keeping runners from advancing.”
Allison Walljasper (8 innings, 10 strikouts) went the distance for Sierra, striking out 10 and minimizing the Jaguars’ big innings to just two. Kimball scored two in the second, prompted by a Hawkins double over the right fielder’s head. The Jaguars made an early commitment to small ball, content with turning every situation into a bunt situation when runners got on.
The formula seemingly worked again in the third when the Jaguars got two runners on, only a base running error kept them from manufacturing another run. That wouldn’t be the case in the fifth when a leadoff error would put Kimball back in business and a routine bunt would drive in the team’s fourth run.
Iyana Hughes (3 for 4, double, 2 runs) set the table for Wilson’s bomb with a double, but misfortune on a line drive off the pitcher’s glove, into the second baseman’s, resulted in a costly double play that prefaced a Walljasper walk followed by Wilson’s big swing.
Kimball pitcher Alexis Lopez tossed all eight for the Jaguars, deviating from any serious trouble except in the first and fifth innings.