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Winning streak snapped
Timberwolves toppled in loss to Kimball
SOFT Sierra-Kimball 1 4-24
Sierra catcher Lexus Barnes attempts to make the tag on Kimballs Gabbi Cox (12), who scored the games only run during a 1-0 VOL victory for the Jaguars Wednesday. - photo by Photo by SEAN KAHLER

Kimball got redemption against Sierra on Wednesday during a rematch of last year’s Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV championship.

Danielle Lallos was a key factor during the Jaguars’ 1-0 Valley Oak League win over the Timberwolves (7-4 VOL, 11-5 overall), who have claimed two out of the last three section championships behind senior standout Allie Walljasper.

“It was nice to finally get one against Sierra,” Kimball head coach Joseph Hernandez said. “The last two years they ended our season.”

Sierra’s LSU-bound Walljasper (11 strikeouts, one walk and one hit) had a solid game and only allowed one unearned run. She also had a key opportunity to tie the game in the bottom of the fourth inning as well.

Walljasper’s would-be game-tying RBI was robbed when Lallos made a breath-taking catch after diving in center field – a play rarely seen at this level that kept the game the Jaguars (6-5, 9-7) ahead 1-0.

“(Lallos) has been a great center fielder for us for four years,” Hernandez said. “That was definitely a game-saver right there.”

Sierra’s Kendelle Messersmith led off that fourth with a single and stole second, but she wasn’t able to come home despite Walljasper putting the barrel on the Samantha Sarmiento offering.

Sarmiento won the pitchers’ duel and gave up six hits, two walks and threw two strikeouts. The sophomore also came up with the eventual game-winning RBI on one of Sierra’s four errors.

In the top of the fourth, Sarmiento put the ball in play and an overthrow at first allowed her to move to second. Gabbi Cox came across for the lead.

Sierra did have its chances.

In the bottom of the first Sierra loaded the bases with no outs. Walljasper led off with a walk and Devi Coglio doubled to put runners on second and third.

Mariah Jurado drew another walk to load up the bags and Kimball got the first out on a force at home. Gianna Lenoci popped out and Sarmiento tallied her first strikeout by getting Lexus Barnes looking.

In the second inning, Kikuno Tsahaka and Walljasper both singled. However, Coglio lined out with a hard hit laser to first base that left five stranded through two innings.

“We had runners in scoring position for four out of the seven innings,” Sierra head coach Nick Olmo said. “We just couldn’t convert. You’re not going to win too many ball games that way.”

Taylor Moss singled in the bottom of the third and Messersmith got in scoring position during the fourth. Moss (2 for 2) had another single in the fifth but nothing materialized. In the sixth, Sierra had its best and would-be final opportunity to make something happen.

Barnes led off the inning with a single and Messersmith sacrificed her to second.  Tsahaka sent a shot to center field, where Lallos was there to make the catch and fire it back to second base to double up Barnes and end the inning.

Sarmiento got Sierra’s top of the order to retire in the bottom of seven.

“Kimball and Manteca are tied (for fourth),” Olmo concluded. “This puts Kimball one game behind us, and at this point we’re going to have to stay in this game and play clean the rest of the way out. (Kimball and Manteca) are right on our heels and they’re not going to just roll over and let us have it.”

Only the top three teams from the VOL make it to the playoffs and Sierra has Weston Ranch, East Union and Manteca left on its schedule. The T’Wolves will face Weston Ranch next Wednesday at home for senior day at 4 p.m.