STOCKTON – Any team can win when things go right, but it takes a good team to win when things go wrong. No. 2 Sierra had to be a very good team Monday to defeat fourth-seeded Rosemont 2-1 in Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV semifinal softball action at Arnaiz Field.
The Timberwolves (18-4) ran into four outs – two on one play – and in the first four innings they committed three errors.
“Those were just mental mistakes out there,” Sierra coach Vic DeAnda said. “But we have been in 2-1 or 1-0 games before so we didn’t fall apart – we stayed together as a team.
“We have had a 10-run game and an 11-5 win in the playoffs, but today we showed that we can win a 2-1 game too.”
The Timberwolves scored a run in each of the first two innings. Mia Guevara led off the first with a grounder that found its way between first and second and advanced to second on a passed ball. She took third on Samantha Lorge’s groundout and came home on a suicide squeeze by Callie Crain for a 1-0 lead.
“I have been bunting a lot this season,” Crain said. “I was going to try and lay it down and get a run scored.”
With one out in the Timberwolves second Elizabeth Kehle hit a towering fly ball to deep left that was misplayed and turned into a double. Tierra Solario sacrificed Kehle to third and on the play Solario got caught in a rundown, allowing Kehle to third.
The Wolverines (13-3) scored their run in the third in on an error assisted squeeze and took advantage of another error in the fourth inning to load the bases with one out. That is when Lindsey Walljapser took over.
The Sierra hurler struck out the next two batters to end the threat and allowed just one base runner the rest of the way, finishing with 12 strikeouts, allowing six hits and just one walk.
“I know I had to pull through for my team and they did the exact same thing for me,” Walljasper said. “I have been in those positions before – this wasn’t the first time – I kind of know how to work out of it.
“Just pitch by pitch and out by out and that’s exactly what I did.”
The Timberwolves will face top-seeded Calaveras of San Andreas on Wednesday in the championship round in a rematch of last year’s championship game won 7-1 by Sierra. A Timberwolves win gives them their fifth blue banner – all since 2011 – and a Calaveras win sets up a winner-take-all contest to follow.