LATHROP — Weston Ranch’s softball team opened the Valley Oak League season in style Wednesday.
The Cougars looked sharp in more ways than one as they unveiled their new gray and black away jerseys in a 9-0 thumping of Lathrop.
Arianna Hernandez recorded her second one-hitter of the season for Weston Ranch (1-0 VOL, 7-2 overall), striking out seven and walking two. She also stroked an RBI double and plated one of four runs in the sixth inning.
“Ari threw a tremendous game with the defense behind her,” Weston Ranch coach Janelle Bauer said. “Team effort, everybody contributed today.”
Weston Ranch racked up 12 hits, seven of which went for multiple bases. Mickael Battle legged out a two-run homer in the fourth. Freshman Elysia Hernandez (2 for 3) and Lydia McDonald (2 for 4) each clubbed a triple during the Cougars’ sixth-inning rally. Mia Thurmon was 2 for 4 with a double from the bottom of the order.
“The bats came alive,” Bauer said. “We worked a lot in practice on being patient at the plate and the girls were aggressive on strikes. They hit the ball well.”
Weston Ranch got all the runs it needed in the top of the first, when the Hernandez sisters both reached on outfield errors on back-to-back at-bats. Vanessa Contreras followed with an RBI hit, and Brianna White later crushed a double.
Lathrop (0-1, 0-9) had a chance to answer in the bottom half. Marisela Duenas walked but was left on third. In the second, Arianna Hernandez issued her second walk to Kristina Torres, who was stranded on second. She was the last Spartan to reach scoring position, as Hernandez was perfect on five of the final six innings.
No. 9 batter Andrea Lyle accounted for Lathrop’s only hit, finding the right-center gap for a single in the fifth inning. Hernandez struck out the next hitter looking.
Lathrop heads to Sierra on Thursday while Weston Ranch plays host to defending champion Oakdale.
“We’re looking forward to seeing Oakdale,” Bauer said. “It should be a good game.”