By PETE SIMONCINI
During the week of March 20 through 25, the Oakdale Mustang varsity softball team continued its incredible offensive prowess with 19-0 and 10-1 wins over the Beyer Patriots and the Riverbank Bruins, respectively. The games were part of the Ceres early season tournament. According to head coach Larry Loger, the Ceres tournament is one in which teams just get in early season games.
“There is no real winner,” said Loger. “We went 4-0 in our tournament bracket, scoring 57 runs while only giving up four.”
Both games for the first week of spring came on Saturday, March 25. First taking on the Beyer Patriots, the Mustangs (6-2) came out swinging recording nine runs in the opening inning. The onslaught continued with the Mustangs scoring two, four, two, and two runs respectively in the ensuing four innings. Defensively, star pitcher, senior Delainey Everett, heading for Mississippi State University next year, surrendered only one hit in pitching two innings of shutout ball. Sophomore Jaelyn Lee threw the remaining three innings giving up no runs or hits. Offensively, sophomore Morgan Merzon led the 18-hit onslaught going 3-for-3 and driving in three runs on a walk and a double in addition to a home run. Complementing Merzon with multi-hit games were Jayci Volonte, Taylor Suarez, Bailey Peterson and Presley Barnes.
In Saturday’s second game, the Mustangs scored five runs in the second inning, one in the third and four in the fourth stanza, racking up 15 hits on the day to defeat the Riverbank Bruins 10-1. Junior Raegen Everett worked three perfect innings in the game from the pitching circle, recording seven strikeouts. Simpson University bound senior Katy Thomasson worked two innings in relief of Everett, surrendering a run on three hits. Merzon recorded her second round tripper in two games, going 2-for-3 with two RBI. The red hot junior catcher, Barnes, was 3-for-4 from the plate with an RBI and Delainey Everett, playing first base, went 2-for-2 with three RBI in the game. Also getting multiple hits in the game was sophomore Madi Bohannon.
“We were excited to get outside and play some games,” said Loger. “Morgan Merzon led the offense with two home runs and seven RBI in the two games. All four of our pitchers threw really well.”
Barnes remains on a torrid pace from the plate with a .654 batting average. Eight Mustangs are currently hitting over .400 with Taylor Suarez at .545, Briley Everett at .533 and Jayci Volonte at .500. Barnes and Merzon lead the team in home runs with two apiece, while Barnes and Delainey Everett lead the team in triples with two each. Barnes also leads the team in doubles with three and RBI with 17. Volonte leads the team in runs scored with 11 while Thomasson boasts the team’s top on base percentage with .667.