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SOFTBALL: Going out on top
Sydney Thomason shines in final game for Ripon
Bulletin sports 2020-21
After her two-run home run, Ripon's Sydney Thomason is congratulated by coach Robert Vernon. - photo by Dave Campbell

Battling gusty winds and dust devils assaulting her from home plate in her last high school outing Wednesday, four-year Ripon starter Sydney Thomason twirled a two-hit gem against host Sierra in a 10-0 mercy-rule contest that went six innings in Valley Oak League action.

“This being the last game was kind of bittersweet,” Thomason said. “But it was a really fun season and I am really glad we got to play. I am really thankful

Bulletin sports 2020-21
Ripon's Sydney Thomason allowed two hits in the six-inning contest, striking out five and walking one. - photo by Dave Campbell
that Coach (Robert) Vernon could make it happen.”

Thomason was 3 for 4 with a home run, double and five RBI. The only time Thomason did not make it on base was in her first at-bat when she was thrown out on a bunt attempt. She belted her home run on her next trip to the plate.

“I saw the third baseman playing back so I thought I would try a bunt,” Thomason said. “That didn’t work out so I decided to swing away. I got my pitch so I swung hard.”

Peyton Naranjo (3 for 4, home run, double, three RBI, three runs) helped get the onslaught started for the Indians (5-8 VOL, 6-8) with a solo home run in the first inning. 

“I popped a pitch into the backstop,” Naranjo said. “So the next pitch I decided to get on top of it and square it off.”

Thomason and Naranjo were part of the top third of the order with leadoff batter Rhylee Magazinovic (3 for 3, four runs, walk) that went 9 for 11 with two home runs, eight RBI, two doubles and eight runs. No. 4 batter Katie Rhodes doubled in a run. 

“If the top of your order hits like that a 10-0 game is typical,” Ripon coach Robert Vernon said. “And we had a couple of home runs on top of it. When they produce, we are in games. And when Syd throws like that, we are in games.”

Vernon did something Wednesday he had not done in more than a decade of coaching.

Bulletin sports 2020-21
Ripon's Katie Rhodes makes it to second ahead of the throw to Sierra's Erica Tovar. - photo by Dave Campbell

“This is the first game in 15 years that I allowed a player to call a game,” Vernon said. “Syd was forced into pitching as a freshman and her dad was on my staff. At that point I put him on the bucket and had him call the games, as long as he threw a change-up in there every now and then. And he has been on the bucket for four years.

“He couldn’t make it today so she called the game herself. She did a good job. She’s smart and who knows, maybe someday she will be coaching.”

Breanna Tyler and Ashtyn Perez had a hit apiece for the undermanned Timberwolves (2-14).  

“We are short players,” Sierra coach Don Hughes said. “COVID and injuries have really affected us.

“This ends our year and hopefully we can take something positive out of it. We will fold it up and get ready for next year.”  

Bulletin sports 2020-21
Ripon's Kimberly Hern legs out an infield single as Sierra catcher Ashtyn Perez prepares to throw. - photo by Dave Campbell