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Oakdale JV Softball Turns In Perfect Season
Oakdale pitcher Shelby Reali does her best to keep the Lady Mustangs undefeated with a strong performance against Sonora in the VOL finale. - photo by JAGADA CHAMBERS/THE LEADER
Three different pitchers hurled complete games, combining for a total of 43 strikeouts, as Oakdale High’s junior varsity softball team finished out the season with a trio of victories. The Lady Colts finished the season with 27 wins and no losses and won a seventh-straight Valley Oak League title for junior varsity softball.
“The girls had an amazing year,” said Oakdale head coach Kelly Olson. “I told them that a lot of people don’t understand how difficult it is to go undefeated all season, especially in a game like softball that has so many variables and intangibles.
“The girls put together a fabulous season and we (coaching staff) are very proud of them.”
Oakdale’s three freshmen pitchers – Jennessa Schieffer, Randee Hindman, and Shelby Reali – did what they have been doing all season by completely dominating VOL opponents’ hitters. Schieffer was two outs away from recording a perfect game on Tuesday when Oakdale routed Lathrop 9-0. Hindman kept a potent Manteca offense at bay Wednesday to help lead the Lady Colts to a 7-3 victory, and Reali mowed down 14 Sonora batters in an 11-1 drubbing on Friday.
“We are so fortunate at Oakdale to have such incredible pitching depth,” said Olson. “I felt completely comfortable no matter who we put in the pitching circle. And our pitchers knew that they had a solid defense behind them.”
Along their way to 27 victories, the Lady Colts recorded 17 shutouts and outscored their opponents 263-26. Nine shutouts came in Oakdale’s 15-0 run through VOL.
In the Sonora contest, sophomore Maisie Slomkowski showed up late after taking a grueling AP European History exam only to rap a pair of singles and drive in a team-leading three RBIs. D’Angel Barnhart, Ghianna Falconi, Jenny Rissetto, and Schieffer each collected two hits, with Rissetto and Schieffer both clubbing triples.
Falconi got things going right out of the gates against Manteca, roping a leadoff triple and later scoring on Schieffer’s sacrifice fly. A pair of errors helped Oakdale jump out to a 3-0 first-inning lead against a Lady Buffalo team that was looking for revenge after an 11-9 loss to the Lady Colts earlier in the season.
“I know Manteca wanted us bad,” said Olson. “Randee did a great job keeping them off balance and our offense came alive.”
Hindman struck out 11 Manteca batters while surrendering just five hits. Four of Manteca’s five hits came in the top of the sixth inning, but Rissetto’s outstanding play behind the plate helped stymie any Manteca rallies. Stephanie Fauria and Schieffer collected two hits apiece, with Fauria driving in a pair of runs, and Kaila Olson picked up a pair of hits as well.
Schieffer had a perfect gem going until she surrendered a one-out walk in the seventh in Oakdale’s 9-0 drubbing of Lathrop. The freshman hurler struck out the side in the second, third, and sixth innings on her way to a 17-strikeout performance. Rissetto was instrumental in breaking up a scoreless tie when she rapped a triple in the fourth inning and scored on an error. Hindman doubled, singled and scored twice and Taylor Sanders scored a pair of runs. Slomkowski had another good day at the plate, forcing a bases-loaded walk and singling to register three RBIs.
Oakdale survived the final two games of the season without the play of catcher/third baseman Brooke Magnussen, who missed them with a shoulder injury.
“Brooke helped us tremendously all year. It was a shame that she didn’t get to finish the season, but I know she’ll be back next year,” said Olson, who also thanked assistant coaches Mike Olson and Kodie Purser for tremendous contributions to an undefeated season.