East Union was four outs away from handing the 12th-ranked team in the state its first loss of the season Thursday at Northgate Softball Complex.
The Mustangs of Oakdale galloped to a not-so-comfortable 10-3 victory in their Valley Oak League finale.
East Union (9-2, 14-9 overall) has one more league game and two non-league tilts before starting the postseason. The Lancers have reason to feel both proud and disappointed in their fourth straight loss to the two-time reigning VOL champions.
“We had them,” East Union coach Brian Goulart said. “We hit the ball so good and had opportunities to score more. We knew we had to get up 3-1 or 4-1 and it cost us. They can hit the ball well.”
They led 2-1 with two outs in the top of the sixth inning. Oakdale (12-0, 23-0-1) was sparked by a line-drive single from Dylan Gonzalez, pinch-hitting in the No. 9 spot, and East Union opted to intentionally walk Fresno State-bound standout Lexy Webb.
Sophomore Alexa Aguilar later clubbed a three-run double to push the Mustangs ahead for good. Oakdale, which totaled 13 hits, erupted for six more runs in the seventh, taking advantage of three East Union errors.
Webb was the winning pitcher after scattering five hits and striking out 10. She also blasted a leadoff home run on the second pitch of the game.
Mackenzie Salgado tied it up for the Lancers, knocking in Allie Parker with a single in the second inning. They jumped ahead in the third when Danyelle Godoy drilled a base hit to center field to plate Shelby Cefalu.
Cali Blevins capped the final score with a solo homer in the bottom of the seventh.
Ripon Christian 10, Delhi 0
RIPON — The Knights (12-1, 19-3 overall) wrapped up at least a share of the Southern League title in their regular-season home finale that ended in the fifth inning.
They’ll shoot for the outright claim next Tuesday at Orestimba (6-6, 13-10). It’s just the second league championship for Ripon Christian, and the first was earned in 1993.
Delhi (3-9, 6-13) could not contain the Knights, who scored in every inning including six in the fifth. Madison DeGraff twirled the one-hit shutout, walking two while ringing up six strikeouts. She was also 2 for 3 with three runs and two RBIs.
Sarah Brown and Elizabeth Thomas added two hits and two RBIs apiece. Morgan Val Elderen also drove in a pair.