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Spring Seasons Rolling Along For Mustang Squads
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Junior Maddox Dias literally takes one for the team, the ball drilling him “on the number” during a recent home contest. The varsity Mustangs have improved to 7-3 in Valley Oak League play, with some solid pitching and timely hitting. Leader Photo By Jeff Kettering

Exploding for 29 runs last week, the varsity softball girls defeated the Kimball Jaguars 11-4 on Tuesday, April 18 and then shut out the Sierra Timberwolves 18-0 on Thursday, April 20. During the week, the Mustangs also pounded out 29 hits, 16 against Kimball and 13 against Sierra. Over the two games, sophomore right fielder Morgan Merzon went 3-for-4 from the plate collecting her team-leading fourth home run of the season as well as a double, accounting for three runs batted in. Presley Barnes, who currently leads the team in batting average (.593), hits (35), RBI (33), and doubles (7), went 3-for-5 for the week, while Delainey Everett, who leads the team in slugging percentage (1.021) and triples (7) while being second in hits (24) and RBI (29), went 3-for-4 garnering a triple and 3 RBI. Junior third baseman Morgan Wright was perfect from the plate during the week going 3-for-3 with a double and 4 RBI.

Pitching against Kimball, the dynamic sister combination of senior Delainey and junior Raegen Everett were again highly effective, though being hurt by four Mustang errors. Delainey worked six complete innings, surrendering three runs, two of which were earned, on five hits. Raegen, working one inning in relief, gave up an unearned run on one hit.

Against Sierra, Simpson University-bound senior Katy Thomasson and sophomore Jaelyn Lee combined for a five-inning, no-hit shutout. The only baserunners for the home team Timberwolves came on two walks from Thomasson, who also struck out four complemented by three strikeouts by Lee.

Said head coach Larry Loger about the Kimball game, “With the Nor Cal Tournament behind us, we were ready to get back to VOL action. Presley Barnes, Delainey Everett and Madi Bohannon led our offense with three hits each. Morgan Merzon hit a bomb to lead off the second inning that might still be in the air.”

Against Sierra the Mustangs exploded for nine runs in the top of the first and then coasted behind the pitching of Thomasson and Lee matched by flawless fielding, scoring two in the third, five in the fourth and two in the fifth before the umpires invoked the 10-run mercy rule after Sierra had batted in the inning.



In action Monday, April 17 the varsity baseball team kicked off their week with a 13-3 win over Kimball, rapping out 12 hits on the day. Landon Schutte got the start on the mound and got the win, striking out 10 in his five-plus innings of work.

It was another 10-run win two days later this time with Oakdale scoring 15 runs to Kimball’s five in the run-shortened game. The hot hitting continued for the Mustangs, notching a total of 16 hits on the day. The big inning for Oakdale was the fourth, when they put eight runs on the board, building a lead the Jaguars could never overcome.

“We are continuing to get better each and every day. I do give our guys credit for continuing to grind and trust the process and the importance of being selfless,” said head coach Joey Machado. “Our motto all year has been to stay in the moment, one pitch at a time.”



Coach Grant Miller said he has seen some good things from his team this season.

“We have our league tournaments this week and we will be in the section playoffs the following week,” Miller noted. “We ended up at 5-3 in the VOL. That was good enough for a tie for second place. I am very proud of these young men. It looked like a rebuilding year, but we made the playoffs.”



The golf team stayed busy, with a couple of matches in the past week.

“On Monday we played at Copper Valley golf course in Copperopolis. This was the Gary Rovig Invitational hosted by Atwater High School,” explained coach Lee McGhee. “The format was play five and count the best four scores. Our Oakdale team finished third out of 22 teams.”

Cooper Pitney was the low score out of the whole tournament with a score of 69 on the par 72 course.

Nolan Harris (77), Carson Middaugh (88), Skyler Mitchell (89) and Robert Bordona (92) finished out the Mustang scoring.

“Then we played a VOL match at Oakdale Golf & Country Club. We had another good performance for our team scoring 422 with five scores which was good enough for first place honors for the third VOL tournament,” McGhee noted. “Cooper Pitney led the way again with a score of one under shooting a 71. Nolan Harris followed in scoring with a score of 80.”

Also, Robert Bordona carded a score of 89 followed by Carson Middaugh and Skyler Mitchell with 91s. Mason O’Neil finished off the day with a score of 93.

“Overall we had two really good days of golf and continue to work towards being the best we can as we finish off the season,” McGhee said.

They are scheduled to play this week at Creekside Golf Course in Modesto and then next Monday at the VOL Championships being held at Micke Grove Golf Course.


Sports Correspondent Pete Simoncini and Leader Editor Marg Jackson both contributed to this report.

Turning in some strong efforts on the mound this season, freshman Landon Schutte sends a pitch to the plate for the varsity Mustangs in recent VOL baseball action. Leader Photo By Jeff Kettering