Haighley Kissee got all the run support she needed in the first inning, and the pitcher was backed by a stellar defensive effort in Manteca’s 6-0 over visiting Kimball on Wednesday.
It was the first game of the Valley Oak League schedule for the Buffaloes, who improved to 4-2 overall.
“Even though it’s early in the season, there are games we have to win for playoff position and Kimball is one of those teams that can push you out of the running,” Manteca coach Corey Navarro said. “I told the girls not to take them lightly and they came through. We had good at-bats, the defense was really good, and Kissee in the circle did a fantastic job for us.”
The best threats for Kimball (1-1 VOL, 1-5) came early. Morgan Wheeler led off the game with walk but was stranded on third thanks to shortstop Tawny Deerinck’s diving grab up the middle for the third out. Samantha Sarmiento later rapped Kimball’s only hit in the fourth quarter.
Kissee otherwise shined, finishing with 11 strikeouts and two walks in the shutout. She was also 2 for 3 with a double, a run and an RBI on offense.
Sierra Martinez (2 for 3, run, two RBIs) and Aryanna Martinez (2 for 3, two RBIs) each drove in a run in the bottom of the first inning to give their pitcher some breathing room early. Kissee jump started Manteca’s three-run second inning with a leadoff double. Deerinck finished 2 for 4 with two runs scored, and the Buffaloes totaled 11 hits.
Kimball 12, Manteca 2
Azucena Mendiola was 2 for 3 to pace the Buffaloes, while Meghan Garlets belted a double and drove in a run.
East Union 14,
McKenna Hoppis, Marcella Hansen, Nadia Cardona and Natalie Liebelt blasted three hits apiece as the Lancers (3-1) cruised to victory.
The game went the full seven innings, with Isabel Moreno going the distance from the pitcher’s circle and allowing just five hits.