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Timberwolves pick up huge win at Oakdale, complicate VOL race
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OAKDALE — It’s all tied up now.

Coming into the Valley Oak League softball season it was hard to figure a frontrunner, and after Sierra pulled off a thrilling 1-0 win over previously undefeated Oakdale Wednesday afternoon on the Mustangs’ diamond, sorting out the haves and have-nots became all the more difficult.

As it stands now, all four horses in the race are neck and neck – Sierra, East Union, Ceres and Oakdale are knotted atop the league standings at 2-1.

Karissa Valdez provided the game-deciding knock, a double up the middle that scored Emily Silvia.

Silvia reached on a single to right then took second on an overthrow.

“It was a really emotional game,” Sierra head coach Nick Olmo said. “The kids were pumped up after the game. The defense was stellar again; it’s keeping us in games early.”

Gabby Hawkins went the distance, allowing five hits and striking out five in the shutout victory.

“Gabby kept them off-balance all day with great pitch selection,” Olmo said.

Sierra had only three hits, but put the ball in play 17 times against Oakdale’s top-notch defense.

“The bats are starting to come around again, and it’s about time,” Olmo said. “It was only three hits, but it was a huge improvement.”

Sierra, which improved to 7-2-2 overall, hosts another monster matchup Friday when the Lancers come calling.

Weston Ranch 8, Central Valley 6

The Cougars scored two runs each in the fourth, fifth and sixth to erase a 5-1 deficit and earn their first victory of the season.

“The losing streak has been tough,” Weston Ranch head coach Melanie Berezay said. “It’s nice to get the win. The kids are happy, the coaches are happy, I’m happy.

“We’re all happy.”

And for good reason.

Angelysa Washington got the start and went the distance, fanning eight Hawks in the win.

The hits were spread out up and down the lineup.

Serena Hernandez roped a triple, while both Alexandria Alvarado and Michelle Lord went 1 for 5 with a run batted in.

Weston ranch (1-2 VOL) travels to Manteca Friday.

Central Valley 8, Manteca 4

In Ceres, the up-and-coming Hawks picked up the win behind hot bats and solid starting pitching.

Trina Solario pitched seven, allowing five earned on nine hits and striking out one.

Solario went 2 for 4 at the plate with a double, and Kayla Campbell legged out a triple.

Mariah Navarro, Raylynn Saint, Sharon Washington and Chellsee Lee all provided a knock each.

Manteca had base runners on third with one out or less in the first two frames and couldn’t push a run across.

“We couldn’t capitalize,” Buffaloes head coach Todd Hardcastle said. “Central Valley is a much-improved team, they surprised me.”

Manteca (0-3 VOL) welcomes Weston Ranch Friday.

— Brandon Petersen