A battle of Valley Oak League juggernauts swung violently in favor of visiting Sierra High on March 20 as the returning Sac-Joaquin Section runner-ups delivered a 5-0 thumping of the same Oakdale softball program that beat them in the 2012 SJS finals.
Allison Walljasper (LSU commitment) surrendered only three hits and struck out 13 hitters to lead Sierra to a 10-0 start to the season. The Timberwolves are ranked 14th in the MaxPreps Xcellent 25 Writers’ Poll.
Oakdale trailed just 1-0 after two innings, but allowed Sierra to land a three-run third-inning and a healthy lead. The Lady Mustangs committed only one error, but saw Kendra Hackbarth (2 for 3, stolen base), Shelby Cordova (one for three) and Natasha LeLieur (stolen base) represent their entire offensive effort. Melinda Koppinger allowed just one earned run over five innings of work on the hill.
“We went 3-4 during the toughest pre-season schedule in the area and were looking forward to getting started in the VOL,” Oakdale coach Larry Loger said. “We played a good defensive game, but couldn’t do enough against Ally to put pressure on them.”
Oakdale (4-5-1 overall, 1-1 VOL) rebounded from a 1-3 stretch of contests with a 5-1 win over Weston Ranch on March 22.
Rylie Pena pitched a brilliant seven inning affair against the Cougars. She struck out nine, gave up six hits and walked three. The Oakdale bats got going with swings from Hanna Holland (1 for 2, run, two RBIs), Sarah Peterson (3 for 3, two RBIs, double) and Pena (double).
“Better pitching and solid defense were the keys to this win,” Loger said. “We are much improved on defense and starting to hit the ball the way we know we can.”
Oakdale hosted Lathrop on Tuesday, though results were not available at press time. The team is at East Union on Thursday, March 28.