It had to end sometime.
The storied 11-game win streak of Oakdale High’s varsity softball team culminated with a stunning 13-3 rout of slumping East Union on April 24, but was quickly ditched by visiting Kimball, who avenged a prior loss to blast the Lady Mustangs 10-1 two days later.
“We ran into a very hot Kimball team,” Oakdale coach Larry Loger said. “(Jaguars sophomore Samantha) Sarmiento pitched a very good game against us.”
Oakdale (15-7-1 overall) and Kimball (16-6) are tied at 8-3 in the conference standings behind Sierra (9-2), but the Lady Mustangs can guarantee at least the No. 3 seed into the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV playoffs by twice topping lowly Sonora (1-10) and not allowing upset-minded Manteca (7-5) to spoil their seed.
Oakdale is at Sonora today, May 1, Manteca on Friday, May 3 and closes the season at home against Sonora on May 7.
The varsity girls made a huge step toward the postseason by avenging a 7-4 March 28 defeat to East Union with the five-inning mercy-rule rout of the Lancers nearly a month later. The game awarded the Lancers a stunning fourth loss in five games after six consecutive wins made East Union the team to beat at the conference halfway point.
“We felt that we were a better team than we showed EU in our first game,” Loger said. “The girls really swung the bats well.”
East Union led 2-1 after three innings, but gave up seven Oakdale runs in a violent fourth. Kindra Hackbarth (3 for 3, three runs, walk, two stolen bases), Hanna Holland (2 for 3, triple, two runs, RBI, stolen base), Shelby Cordova (2 for 4, two RBIs), Sarah Peterson (triple, two RBIs), Madison Hackbarth (3 for 4, two runs, two RBIs) and Haley Fuller (2 for 4, two RBIs) had tremendous days at the plate.
Kimball trailed Oakdale 1-0 after an inning two days later, but rallied behind Virginia-bound shortstop sensation Arianna Hawkins (4 for 5, two runs, RBI, three stolen bases). Hawkins gobbled up anything that came her way at shortstop and kept many of Kimball’s rallies alive as the Jaguars would score in five of their final six at bats.
“We are really coming together right now,” Kimball coach Joseph Hernandez said. “Oakdale is a good team and we needed to avenge our previous loss to them.”
Oakdale managed seven hits off Sarmiento, but couldn’t string together quality at-bats. Hackbarth was 3 for 4 with the lone run and a stolen base, while Holland batted 2 for 4, Kelsey Hardey 1 for 1 and Francesca Orvis 1 for 1.
It was Hackbarth’s second straight three-hit game and another terrific batting performance by the freshman right fielder and leadoff hitter.
“Even though I am a freshman, there isn’t a lot of pressure on me, because I have teammates to step up for me,” Hackbarth said afterwards. “As an entire team, we just really need to focus and get on top of pitchers early.”
Rylie Pena tossed a four-hit gem in the win over East Union. Pena and Melinda Koppinger spread the Kimball damage across seven innings, but the Jaguars’ five-run second inning did the most to taint the scoreboard.