Four days after trouncing Manteca 12-2 on Senior Day, Oakdale High’s varsity softball team turned the final page on a spectacular Valley Oak League season by upending rival Sonora in an 11-0 Mustang win on May 7.
The victory propelled Oakdale to a 13-1 conference finish and undisputed No. 1 seed into Thursday’s first round of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV playoffs at the Arnaiz Softball Complex in Stockton.
“An early offensive outbreak and Sonora errors took the drama out of the game early,” Oakdale coach Larry Loger. “We are anxious to see how good we can be in the postseason.”
Sierra Valley Conference No. 3 seed, Union Mine, and Western Athletic Conference No. 3, Central Catholic, played Monday in a D-IV outbracket, though results were not available at press time.
The winner gets Oakdale in a do-or-die first round at 5 p.m. for a shot at the championship quarterfinals.
“We know that if you make it to playoffs you are three good teams from three strong leagues,” Loger said. “I don’t think there are any pushovers and certainly no automatic games.
“I don’t think there is much chance of a letdown, because as soon as you walk out to that complex and see all the other good teams and travel ball players, the energy just picks up.”
Oakdale’s Anneliese Davis and Melinda Koppinger combined for the five inning shutout over Sonora with only one hit allowed. Lauren Sanders hit 2 for 2 with two runs, two doubles and four RBIs while Davis tripled and scored.
Kaila Olson (2 for 4, two runs), Sarah Peterson (two runs, two RBIs) and Kaitlyn Derby (1 for 2) also managed hits.
The SJS playoff bracket continues on Thursday with 7 p.m. quarterfinals. The winner of that game plays Friday for a shot at the finals.
The loser enters Friday’s consolation bracket for a chance to return to Saturday’s championship final at 11 a.m. and an ‘if-necessary’ game at 1 p.m.