Upsets will happen in a sport, that’s why you play the game.
On Tuesday night May 16, the 12th seeded Oakdale Lady Mustangs softball team traveled to Woodland to take on the heavily favored fifth seeded Pioneer Lady Patriots at Pioneer High School. The opening round matchup in the 2017 CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division III playoffs proved to be a memorable moment in Oakdale postseason history. With what seemed like slim chances of advancing, Oakdale demolished the home team 13-1. Behind lights out pitching by sophomore Lexi Webb, error free defense and three home runs, Oakdale silenced the home team, and any doubters that questioned Oakdale softball.
The Lady Mustangs struck first in the top of the first inning when Pioneer overthrew a ball to third base in efforts to get out Grace Green. Green was awarded home plate to take a 1-0 advantage with one out. Things did not get better for Pioneer in the second when Adrianna Aguilar scored from third base on a wild pitch to give Oakdale a 2-0 lead with two outs in the second inning.
With the score 2-0 in the fifth inning, Maddy Brewer entered the batter’s box with one out and two runners on base. With the count at 1-1 Brewer blasted the ball over the left field fence, over traffic and into the Raley’s Shopping Center across the street to give Oakdale a 5-0 lead.
“We have been working hard on staying on top of pitches. She sent me a fastball and I put my power behind it,” Brewer said of her monster shot.
Later in the inning Oakdale added on to their lead on an RBI double by Brittany Bye to make it 6-0.
In the bottom of the fifth inning Pioneer attempted to rally and scored one run on a two out single by Tatum Wentworth. Pioneer had three straight hits with two outs but could only manage the one run in the inning.
In the top of the seventh, Oakdale led 6-1 but the score would quickly change. Lexi Webb displayed her power at the plate as she connected on a solo home run to center field to lead off the inning making it 7-1. Two batters later senior second baseman Shay Trent belted a two run home to center field giving Oakdale a 9-1 lead.
“I have been struggling at the plate this season. I have had quality at bats this year, but nothing amazing. I’ve been working on my swing and finally pulled one,” said Trent, who was 0-for-3 in the game prior to that at bat.
The nightmare inning continued for Pioneer as Oakdale loaded the bases with no outs. Senior outfielder Farrah Gomes’ patience at the plate paid off and drew a bases loaded walk to extend the lead to 10-1. With two outs and bases loaded Webb hit a hard shot to right field to clear the bases on a three run triple, giving Oakdale their final three runs.
Webb went 3-for-4 at the plate with four RBI. She also pitched a complete game for Oakdale, striking out five batters and issuing no walks in the win.
“We wanted to come out strong. We have three seniors on this team and they did not want this to be their last game. So we as a team made sure it wasn’t their final game,” Webb said.
Oakdale’s defensive play was truly a team effort. Big defensive plays by Trent, Bye, Rilyn Cassaretto, Aguilar and Gomes helped Oakdale advance.
Following the win, Oakdale will now play the fourth seeded Vanden of Fairfield on Thursday afternoon at 4 p.m. Vanden finished in second place of the Solano County Athletic Conference with a record of 20-4 overall. Vanden edged out Merced 2-1 to advance in the tournament. Should Oakdale be victorious on Thursday night, they will take on the winner of top seeded Benicia and eighth seeded Christian Brothers on Monday, May 22 at Arnaiz Field in Stockton.