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Mustang Varsity Softballers Off To Solid Start

The Oakdale Mustang Varsity Softball team, despite having to play around the challenges of a very wet March, is off to a solid 4-2 start in the preseason. The Division 3 Mustangs opened the 2023 season on March 3 with a 17-3 trouncing of the Hughson Huskies behind senior pitcher Katy Thomasson. Junior sensation Presley Barnes, who currently leads the team in hitting with a .632 average including two home runs, two doubles, a triple, and 14 RBI, started off strong going 3 for 3 with a home run and four RBI in the game. Complementing Barnes from the plate were junior Bailey Peterson (2 for 2 scoring two runs with two RBI) and senior Delainey Everett, who had a triple, four RBI and scored three runs on the day. Head Coach Larry Loger was satisfied with the team’s performance: “We finally got a game in and scored 11 runs in the top of the first inning. On the day we recorded 15 hits and five stolen bases.”

The Mustangs next overwhelmed Atwater 10-0, also on March 3. Delainey Everett pitched three innings recording seven strikeouts while her younger sister, Raegen, a junior, garnered four strikeouts as the two sisters combined for a no hitter. Barnes continued on a torrid pace from the plate going 3 for 3 once again, with a double and four RBI. Jayce Volonte also went 3 for 3 scoring three runs and stealing three bases. Delainey Everett went 2 for 3 with her second triple of the season and Taylor Suarez went 2 for 2.

On March 7, the Mustangs continued on their juggernaut pace handing the Patterson Tigers a 15-1 pasting.

“Our offense continued to fire on all cylinders,” said Loger.

Delainey Everett continued her domination from the pitching circle recording four strikeouts on the day. Everett’s freshman sister, Briley, was perfect from the plate going 3 for 3, with a triple, three runs scored and two stolen bases. Barnes continued on her blistering pace this season going 2 for 4 with a triple, two RBI and three runs scored. Raegen Everett connected for a home run on the day and three RBI and Morgan Wright went 2 for 2 with a triple and three RBI.

The Mustangs next ran into Roosevelt High School from Southern California in the Central High School Tournament in Fresno on St. Patrick’s Day, and fell 2-0 despite an outstanding five-inning, eight-strikeout performance by Delainey Everett.

“Roosevelt is the top Division 1 team in Southern California,” said Loger, putting the loss into perspective.

On March 18, the Mustangs lost to Clovis North, which, Loger said, “is ranked number 4, Division 1 in California and is nationally ranked. We played a good game against them, but couldn’t take advantage of our opportunities to score.”

The Mustangs rebounded later that day behind the pitching of Katy Thomasson and Jaelyn Lee and defeated Arroyo Grande by the score of 7-4. Barnes remained hot from the plate recording a home run and four RBI in the game.

“Arroyo Grande is another top Division 1 school from Fresno,” said Loger. “Both of our pitchers did a great job against a tough lineup. Presley Barnes continued to lead our offense in all categories. (The Central Tournament) is one of the better tournaments in California. Most of the top schools in the state were there.”