STOCKTON — Someone once said you can never go home again.
Well, nobody told that to Allie Walljasper.
Walljasper, a 2014 graduate of Sierra High, returned to the San Joaquin Valley on Thursday to lead her No. 7-ranked LSU Tigers to a 9-0 five-inning mercy rule win over tournament-host Pacific in the Libby Matson Tournament at Bill Simoni Field.
The true senior came into the game against Pacific with a 4-0 record and a 0.25 ERA having belted three doubles herself. As a junior, Walljasper led LSU in wins, ERA, appearances, starts, complete games, saves and innings pitched, going 18-6 with a 1.61 ERA and 101 strikeouts.
“She (Allie) has been as special as any kid that has ever played for the program, in my opinion,” LSU coach Beth Torina said. “She is the picture of consistency, she is a great human being, a great teammate and she is really the kid you would dream of coaching.”
When Walljasper departed Sierra for the Bayou State, she had accumulated quite a resume: Four-years all-Valley Oak League Most Valuable Player, four-year Manteca Bulletin All-Area MVP, two-time Sac-Joaquin Section champion, and MaxPreps All-American and Cal-Hi All-State selection.
Thursday night, Walljasper was just as dominating at Bill Simoni Field as she was on the Sierra High diamond, striking out 10 while allowing just three hits, two of which did not make it out of the infield.
“This was amazing,” Walljasper said. “Having my team behind my back and being able to perform in front of all my friends and family is probably the best thing I have ever had.
“It was an awesome feeling seeing some people who have never seen me play up in the stands, and it was awesome to get the team win and now it’s on to the next one.”
The only hit allowed out of the infield by Walljasper was in the fourth inning by East Union product Sam Owen. The true sophomore laced a 1-1, two-out offering through the left side, but she was left stranded at first when Walljasper notched her eighth strikeout.
“It’s always fun to face Sam (Owen),” Walljasper said. “She is a great competitor and it is awesome to see her succeed at this school.”
Owen was appreciative of her chance to face Walljasper one more time.
“Being home-town rivals, it was nice getting a chance to play her (Allie),” Owen said. “It was good to get to play her one last time.
“I definitely think she has a lot more movement on the ball now then she did in high school with a lot more trickier pitches.”
Owen graduated from East Union in 2016 but not before leading the Lancers to a state championship with a .507 batting average while being named VOL MVP, Manteca Bulletin All-Area MVP and a FloSoftball All-American.
As a freshman for Pacific last season, Owen played in all but four games, scoring 19 runs and knocking in 16, batting .259. She tallied a six-game hitting streak and earned All-West Coast Conference honorable mention honors.