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Hughes triple, Walljasper HR spark Sierra
Sierra High’s Iyana Hughes sprints for third base on her RBI triple in the third inning against visiting Kimball Tuesday. - photo by JONAMAR JACINTO/The Bulletin
Iyana Hughes is known for her speed at the top of Sierra High’s batting order, but she brought a little thunder to go with the lightning against visiting Kimball of Tracy Tuesday.

In what was the Timberwolves’ first home game of the year, Hughes smacked an RBI triple and sparked the game’s only run-scoring rally that anchored a 3-0 win. Freshman Allison Walljasper capped it with a towering two-run homer.

With one out, No. 9 hitter Shakira Lewis, a speedster in her own right, reached on an infield single and stole second as Hughes looked at a first-pitch strike. Hughes crushed Alexis Lopez’s next offering to the right-center gap and it was off to the races.

“At first I thought I wasn’t going to make it,” she said. “I didn’t know where the ball was, I just kept on running.”

Running is what she does best, as she hustled to third uncontested.  Two batters later, Walljasper delivered the knockout blow to straightaway center.

“(Lopez) hadn’t thrown me a whole lot of fastballs, so I was expecting a fastball right down the middle,” Walljasper said. “It was nice to pull that one out because I haven’t been hitting so good the past couple of games.”

Walljasper was also the winning pitcher, striking out six, walking one and hitting one in a complete-game three-hitter.

Sierra (1-1, 7-1-1 overall) had a runner in scoring position in the next three innings, but Kimball, to its credit, kept damage to a minimum with near spotless defense and a solid combined pitching effort from Lopez (four strikeouts, six hits in five innings) and Danielle Lallos.

Kimball (0-2, 6-5) isn’t your typical first-year varsity team. In its league opener last week, the Jaguars put a scare into perennial contender East Union in a 5-4 loss.
On Tuesday, they threatened in the third, fourth and sixth innings with at least one runner in scoring position.

Their best opportunity to strike was in the top of the third. They had two runners on — Montanna Bradley (leadoff walk) and Katie Hanville (single) — with no out and Lopez moved them over with a sacrifice bunt.

Walljasper got out of the jam with a grounder to second and weak liner to third.

Both clubs played well defensively, committing one error apiece. The game ended on a double play started by back-up third baseman Jessica Lopez and turned by second baseman Sommer Wilson.

 “They did a good job of making contact on Ally and put the ball in play,” Sierra coach Nick Olmo said. “And they made the plays on defense. They have a lot of club players so we expected that.

“We told the girls before the game that we couldn’t take them lightly. After what happened in Oakdale we needed to come out here and take care of business.”
Sierra had chance to make a statement on March 22 against defending champion Oakdale but suffered its first loss of the season, 9-2.

Up next for the Timberwolves are Weston Ranch Thursday and Lathrop for a make-up game Friday. Both are at home.