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Oakdale Softball Finishes Second In VOL Standings
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Recognized for their contributions to the Oakdale High School softball program on Senior Night were Class of 2023 members Katy Thomasson and Delainey Everett. Jeff Kettering/The Leader


Sports Correspoindent

It was down to two outs in the bottom of the eighth (and first extra) inning of play on Wednesday, May 10 in the game that would decide the 2023 Valley Oak League championship, when the bottom fell out for the Oakdale Mustangs’ varsity softball team against the Central Catholic Raiders. Surprise Mustang starter, junior Raegan Everett, had sailed through seven and two-thirds innings giving up two hits while striking out 13 and was locked in a nail-biting scoreless pitching duel with presumptive league MVP Randi Roelling. In the fourth inning, Everett had to work out of a jam after a hit and two errors had put runners on second and third with no outs. But Everett got her pitching counterpart to fly out to shallow center field and then struck out the next two batters. There were no other significant problems until the eighth inning. After recording a strike out, Everett was helped by younger sister Briley, the left fielder, who made an amazing diving catch of a foul fly ball for the second out. Raider JazzMarie Roberts followed by getting her third hit of the day and then the Mustangs’ bubble burst when Raider shortstop Taryn Calderon hit a towering home run to centerfield to give the visitors a 2-0 lead. Roelling followed with an inside-the-park homer to extend the Raiders’ lead to 3-0. Head Mustang coach Larry Loger then replaced Everett with her older sister, senior Delainey, who retired the one batter she faced. The Mustangs were unable to answer going three up, three down in the bottom of the inning to give Central Catholic the win and the VOL title, with the Mustangs finishing in second place.

The Mustangs managed three hits against Roelling and came oh so close to winning the game in the bottom of the seventh. With one out, lefthanded hitter Delainey Everett drilled a hard line drive to the opposite field that sailed over the leftfielder’s head and nearly went over the fence. The Mustang senior settled for a double with only one out. Roelling, however, was able to strike out the next two batters to extend the game into extra innings.

Also recording hits in the game for the Mustangs were Raegan Everett and Morgan Wright.

Wednesday’s game was also Senior Day 2023 and the Mustang fans enjoyed a ceremony honoring the two seniors on the team, Katy Thomasson, heading to Simpson University in Redding, and Delainey Everett, headed to Mississippi State University. Both ladies will be playing softball for their respective universities.

Earlier in the week, the Mustangs defeated East Union on the road and Sierra at home. On Monday, the Mustangs traveled to northern Manteca to play East Union and, on the strength of a two-hit, 13 strikeout pitching performance by Delainey Everett complemented by two solo home runs by Raegan Everett, walked away with a 2-0 win. Presley Barnes and Bailey Peterson also recorded two hits on the day (one of Peterson’s was a double), while Delainey Everett, Morgan Merzon, and Jayci Volonte each stroked a hit.

On Tuesday, the Mustangs unloaded for 13 runs on 12 hits in defeating the visiting Sierra Timberwolves 13-3 in a five-inning game shortened by the 10-run-lead mercy rule. Barnes hit a big two-run homer in the first and doubled in a run in the second. Jaelyn Lee got on base each time she came to the plate recording three singles and reaching due to an error. She scored two runs and had an RBI. Marley Leighton reached on an error and a single, was hit by a pitch, scored a run, and garnered two RBI hitting in the leadoff spot. Pitcher Katy Thomasson went 3-for-3 from the plate scoring two runs in the process. Also scoring two runs apiece were Taylor Suarez (2-for-3 with an RBI) and Abby Rushing who reached on an error and singled in two runs in three trips to the plate.

Thomasson had a solid day in the pitching circle giving up three runs, only one of which was earned, while scattering six hits and striking out 11 batters.

On Friday, May 12, the Sac-Joaquin Section announced its 2023 Division 3 playoff bracket, and the Mustangs received a fifth seed. As such, they played host to the 12th seeded Gauchos of El Capitan High School from Merced on Tuesday, May 16. The game was scheduled past press time for The Leader.

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Taking the circle during a Valley Oak League game against Sierra on May 9, senior Katy Thomasson sends a pitch toward the plate. Jeff Kettering/The Leader
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Senior Delainey Everett looks toward her teammates and flexes a bit after hitting a double against Central Catholic in the home finale this past week. Jeff Kettering/The Leader