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Lady Mustangs Stay Atop VOL Softball Standings
4-4 OAK Soft1
This pitch connects with Stephanie Faurias bat for a home run over the left field fence on Thursday as Oakdale cruised past East Union. - photo by IKE DODSON/THE LEADER

After emerging the victor against two of the Valley Oak League’s toughest programs, Oakdale is in the driver’s seat for a conference title.

But it’s a long and winding road.

The Lady Mustangs (10-0-1 overall, 4-0 VOL) were tested Tuesday in a showdown with Kimball (8-3, 3-1), but results were not available at press time. Oakdale’s conference schedule continues with a game against reigning section champs, Sierra, on April 12 and two games against upstart Manteca (7-5).

East Union and Kimball also have another game against Oakdale left on the conference docket. East Union pressured Oakdale with four runs across the fourth and fifth innings, but couldn’t match Oakdale’s offensive output.

The Mustangs went up 5-0 after three innings when Stephanie Fauria belted a two-run blast over the left field fence. She watched Ghianna Falconi (two runs), Kaila Olson (2 for 3, three runs), Sarah Peterson (3 for 3, two doubles, three RBIs) and Francesca Orvis (2 for 3) also battle at the plate.

Shelby Reali tossed a complete game win with three earned runs allowed, five hits surrendered and nine strikeouts.

“Shelby didn’t have her best stuff, but kept EU off balance,” Oakdale coach Larry Loger said. “She’s made sure we have had a chance to win every game this year.”

Oakdale was rolling on the momentum of a 13-0 win over Lathrop across just five innings on March 27. Reali (two innings) and Anneliese Davis (three innings) combined for the win with nine total strikeouts. Lauren Sanders (3 for 4, three doubles), Fauria (double), Melinda Koppinger (2 for 3, two runs) and Rylie Pena (1 for 1, run) all played sharp in the win.

Oakdale hosts Tracy (10-1 overall) on Wednesday for a brief nonleague bout in their schedule. Tracy’s lone loss was to Kimball in 11-6 fashion on March 7.

Oakdale is at Sonora on Thursday and begins the tough NorCal Tourney in Tracy on April 12.

Junior Varsity
Oakdale soared past Lathrop 20-4 after a home run and a 2 for 3 day from Alexis Tidball (three RBIs). Kelsey Hardey also batted 2 for 3 with a run and RBI while Madison Gambini and Megan Reali combined for the victory on the mound.

“All our girls played really well and were ready to hit,” Oakdale coach Allison Branco said. “Offensively we were very strong and aggressive.”

Oakdale went on to squeeze by East Union in a 1-0 win after a terrific pitching effort from Reali (six strikeouts, two hits, no walks). Natasha Lelieur (1 for 3, stolen base), Caylie O’Neal (2 for 3, stolen base) and Tiball (1 for 2, 2 RBIs) combined for three runs scored.