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East Union, Ripon, Manteca reach tournament semifinals
SB--NorCal Classic pic 1
East Union third baseman Izabella Owen gets ready to tag out the sliding Destiny Quilles during the Lancers opening-round contest with Vacaville in the NorCal Classic Platinum Division. - photo by Photos by WAYNE THALLANDER

TRACY — Pitching. Defense. Heads-up base running. Clutch hits.

“Those are playoff games right there,” East Union coach Brian Goulart said.

His Lancers did all the little things right in their first two contests of the NorCal Classic at the Tracy Softball Classic on Thursday. They’re in the Platinum Division semifinal after squeaking past Vacaville and Bella Vista in 2-0 wins. Also in winners-bracket semifinals are Ripon and Manteca in the Diamond and Gold divisions, respectively.

In the Vacaville game, East Union junior Mikayla Bongi outdueled UC Davis signee Katie Kibby and faced just one batter over the minimum. A single in the fifth inning kept Bongi from a perfect game.

Kibby limited the Lancers (11-0) to just three hits. Bongi got all the run support she needed in the first inning thanks to the hustle of Deja Guzman on the base paths. She was on second base with two outs when Taylor Ward connected for an infield hit to the shortstop. With Ward beating out the throw at first, Guzman raced home from second and got her hand on the plate ahead of the tag.

East Union doubled its lead in the sixth. Michelle Castro led off with an infield bunt and was sacrificed to second by Guzman. After reaching third on a passed ball, Alejandra Rascon drove Castro in with a single.

Delaney Pamplin took her turn in the pitcher’s circle in East Union’s second game and twirled a four-hitter.

The Lancers plated both of their runs against Bella Vista in the fifth inning, first with Castro’s RBI double. She was then sent home on Allie Tajii’s two-out knock.

“Great defense by both teams, but we played flawless,” Goulart said. “It was one of those weird low-scoring, low-hitting affairs — both games were like that.”

East Union plays in the semifinals at 11 a.m. Saturday. The first- and third-place games are at 3.


Diamond Division

Ripon (7-2) opened tournament play with a 7-2 win over Bear Creek before edging El Capitan, 2-0.

Sacramento State-bound Danielle Sperry pitched against Bear Creek, giving up one earned run on five hits. Sophomore Lillian Dillard threw five innings against El Capitan for the win, while Sperry pitched the final two for the save.

Hoku Lee (two runs) and Jennica Baldwin  (double) were both 2 for 3 in Game 1, Felicia Ceja had a hit and run in the El Capitan game, while Taylor Jaquez was 1 for 2. The Indians next play Saturday morning starting at 9.


Gold Division

Manteca (8-4) outlasted Calaveras 6-4 in its second-round contest. The Buffaloes opened with a 1-0 squeaker against Mariposa, with Melissa Hansen plating the winning run on a Tawny Deerinck double in the bottom of the eighth.

Haighley Kissee went the distance as Manteca’s pitcher in both contests, striking out 15 in 14 2/3 innings. She was also 3 for 4 with two RBIs and a double against Calaveras. Hansen went 3 for 4 with two RBIs and a double.

Manteca faces Buhach Colony today at 9:30 a.m.



East Union 12, Pittsburgh 0

Marcella Hansen was 3 for 4 in the drubbing. McKenna Hoppis, Presley Graham and Chelsey Costa each roped a pair of hits.

Isabel Moreno gave up two walks in her five-inning no-hitter for the Lancers (7-1).