East Union began Valley Oak League play on Thursday looking to turn things around at rival Sierra.
The Lancers had dropped four in a row and were outscored 33-13 in their last six games.
Danni Godoy stepped back into her leadoff position for East Union and did not disappoint, ripping a two-run home run and tallying three RBI as part of a 15-hit attack in a 14-1 five-inning thumping of the Timberwolves.
“Our problem has been that Godoy has been injured and she is without a doubt our sparkplug from leadoff,” Lancers coach Brian Goulart said. “It has always been an East Union tradition to have a great leadoff batter. And having her we have that like we had with Cherish Burks, Michelle Castro and Izzy Owen — now it’s Danni Godoy.
“Everything feeds off of her. She gets on, she runs the bases well. And she has the power to hit homers.”
Godoy struck out in her first at-bat and drew a bases-loaded walk in her second before launching one over the fence to bump the lead for East Union (1-0 VOL, 4-5 overall) to 9-1 in the third inning.
“I didn’t do so well in my first two at-bats,” Godoy said. “But our team motivates each other and makes sure everyone sees the positive.
“So, when I wasn’t doing well, they all had my back and kept telling me to believe in myself.”
No. 3 batter Allie Parker was part of the Lancers’ productive top of the lineup that saw the first four batters go 8 for 10 with eight RBI, a home run, a trio of doubles and seven runs.
“I’m not surprised with the top of our lineup,” Goulart said. “Allie Parker has been swinging so well in the 3 Spot. It’s almost like every at-bat is a bullet line drive. Savina Molina in the 2 Spot is textbook. She runs like the wind. She can bunt and hit and I think she is the best fielder on the team.
“And Chloe Agueda in cleanup — wow is all I can say.”
Parker and Agueda both had three RBI. Parker (3 for 3) had two doubles and three runs and Agueda (3 for 4) had a double and a run. Molina singled and scored a run and picked up an RBI on a sacrifice fly.
“We came into this game wanting to win,” Parker said. “And the team came together once we started hitting and the rallies started.”
Lancers pitcher Shelby Cefalu (2 for 4, RBI, double, two runs) started off the eight-run third inning that saw eight hits and four Sierra errors with a double. Seven East Union batters reached in a row and they all scored.
Cefalu kept the Timberwolves (1-1, 1-2) in check after the first inning. Nicole Gardner reached for Sierra on a one-out double and Cheyanne Torrez followed with an RBI single. After that, Cefalu retired nine in a row, finishing with six strikeouts and walking one, allowing just those two first-inning hits.
“I knew this was going to be a big game for us,” Cefalu said. “Coach G (Goulart) told us it was going to be the turnaround for our season.
“Coming out the first day of league as a captain I wanted to make sure that happened. I just wanted to be a warrior like Coach G. Always says and show them what I have and shut them down.”
Bella Anchundo (3 for 3, two RBI) and Melina Guevera (two runs, RBI) rounded out the East Union attack.
The Timberwolves suited up only 10 of their 15 players.
“We were missing quite a few players,” Sierra coach Don Hughes said. “And we made some fundamental errors.”
East Union 5, Sierra 3
The Lancers (1-0, 8-1) were silenced by Sierra pitching but managed to produce enough for the win.
Macie Dias drive a pair of runs for East Union, and Emma Silva pitched three scoreless innings while adding two base hits to the attack.