Kaylee MacDannald reached base five times for Manteca on Friday in an 11-3 road win over crosstown rival Sierra in Valley Oak League softball action.
MacDannald went 3 for 3 with a double, three runs and two walks.
“I just felt really confident up there,” MacDannald said. “That is a good pitcher over there and you have hand it to her, she pitched a really good game.
“But when I went up there I looked at the outfield, chose my spot and went with it.”
Buffaloes pitcher Alyssa Harnden sprinkled 10 hits over the complete-game win, not allowing a run after the second inning. Harnden issued no walks and did not throw a strikeout.
“We pride ourselves on defense, defense, defense,” Manteca coach Josh Farris said. “We don’t have a strikeout pitcher. We have a pitcher that competes and she came out and competed.
“Even though she struck out five Oakdale girls earlier this week, that is not our game. Our game is to come out and play defense behind her.”
When asked about MacDannald, Farris said, “In my opinion she is the best shortstop in the league and there are some good ones.
“She is our captain and she is our catalyst. We had some girls out today due to a mandatory field trip and some other girls stepped up and Kaylee led us. She has been leading us all year.”
The Buffaloes (2-1 VOL, 5-4 overall) committed no errors and their defensive prowess was on display on the game’s last play. With two out in the bottom of the seventh and Lisette Mejias (2 for 4, RBI, run) on first, Maya Muschott lifted a fly ball to shallow center.
Manteca’s Kalissa Martin broke in on the ball and sold out, making a diving catch to end the game.
“I saw the ball straight up in the air and knew nobody else could get to it,” Martin said. “I broke as soon as it hit the bat. I saw it in so I ran as hard as I could in and I knew I had to dive because I knew I was never going to get there on foot.”
The Buffaloes’ big inning was the fourth with five runs, highlighted by Kaileah Johannsen’s two-run single.
The Timberwolves (1-3, 1-4) took a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the second. Mikayla Guarascio led off with a double and scored on a two-out single by Mejias. Nicole Gardner (2 for 4, RBI, double, run) doubled in Mejias for Sierra’s last run.
Savanna Guzman went 3 for 3 for Sierra.
“They were able to get a couple of crucial hits in key situations.” Timberwolves coach Don Hughes said. “That took the momentum away from us. Then they pulled ahead and we kind of lost focus.
“But we are young. We are going to come back and play hard.”
East Union 7, Oakdale 4
At Oakdale, Alyssa Clapp blasted a two-run triple Thursday as part of a five-run fourth inning for the Lancers.
East Union blasted out 11 hits and was led by Clapp who went 2 for 4 with that triple and three RBI. Teammate Myresa Harper was 3 for 3.
Brooke Grabowski struck out 12 for the Lancers, allowing five hits.