By PETE SIMONCINI
The Oakdale Mustang varsity and junior varsity softball teams both had extraordinary results during the week of April 3 through April 7. In fact, the term “dominance” is apropos in describing the results both teams earned over two excellent softball programs from Manteca.
Mustang pitching was overwhelming during the week as varsity pitchers combined for a no hit, no run week. Complementing the pitching was perfect fielding and an offense whose hitters combined for 29 hits in scoring 11-0 and 16-0 victories over the Manteca Buffaloes and the East Union Lancers respectively.
On Opening Day for the Valley Oak League, the Mustangs played host to the then 9-1 Buffaloes. Mississippi State University-bound senior Delainey Everett got the league campaign off to a rousing start by tossing a five-inning, no hit shutout at the Buffaloes as the Mustangs coasted to an 11-0 win. Not a single Buffalo hit the ball out of the infield in the game and Everett recorded nine strikeouts. The only Buffalo baserunner came on a hit batsman in the top half of the fifth inning.
Head coach Larry Loger expressed elation about the victory.
“Manteca came into the game at 9-1 so we were not taking them lightly. Delainey was untouchable in the circle, throwing a complete game no hitter. Our offense made an early statement with six runs in the second inning.”
Indeed, offensively, the Mustangs stayed hot racking up 11 runs on 10 hits. Also aiding the home team were four Manteca errors, two walks, and two intentional passes, both to Delainey Everett. After not scoring and leaving the bases loaded in the first inning, the Mustangs unloaded from the plate for six runs on five hits in the second stanza, then recorded two additional runs in the fourth. With the score 8-0 in the bottom of the fifth inning, pinch hitter Katy Thomasson drew a base-on-balls. Thomasson stole second and then Kylee Joseph, pinch hitting for Jayci Volonte, reached on an error sending Thomasson to third. Pinch hitter Taylor Suarez singled, scoring Thomasson and sending Joseph to second. Presley Barnes followed with a triple, scoring Joseph and Suarez to make the score 11-0 Oakdale, after which the umpiring crew invoked the mercy (10-run lead) rule to end the game. In high school softball, the mercy rule can only be implemented after four and a half innings have been played.
Leading the onslaught for the Mustang juggernaut once again was junior catcher Barnes who hit for a mini cycle with a double, a single, and a triple, scoring two runs, and recording four runs batted in. Barnes also reached on an error on a viciously hit ball that the Buffalo shortstop was unable to handle. Volonte added two singles and a run scored, Briley Everett had a single, a run scored and an RBI. Also, Delainey Everett ripped a triple, with 2 RBI, and two runs scored, Morgan Merzon had a walk and a ground out RBI, Morgan Wright had a bases clearing single for three RBI and Raegen Everett singled and scored a run.
On Thursday, April 6, the Mustangs pounded out 19 hits leading to 16 runs as they took the measure of the East Union Lancers. Delainey and Raegen Everett combined for a no-hit shutout in the game. Delainey worked three innings in the circle striking out six and walking none in a perfect effort. Younger sister Raegen, in working two innings, struck out five while walking none.
Offensively, the Mustangs were once again led by Barnes who singled three times in three appearances. Also perfect from the plate were sophomore Madison Bohannon (3 for 3 with 2 singles and a triple), Suarez (a single and a double in two official trips to the plate with 3 RBI), and Wright (two singles). Delainey Everett went 2 for 3 with a single and a triple, garnering 3 RBI. Also collecting hits in the game were Briley Everett, Raegen Everett, Marley Leighton, Merzon, Bailey Peterson (who also recorded 2 RBI), Abby Rushing, and Aaliyah Sesma.
“East Union is a long-time rival, so it’s always easy to get up for them,” said Loger. “Delainey was on her game again. She and Raegan combined for another no hitter. Offensively we are on a roll: 27 runs, 29 hits in the two games this week. We are errorless in our last four games. We are now looking forward to the Nor Cal Classic Tournament in Tracy, April 13 through 15. We start with perennial power Vacaville.'”
Not to be outdone, the junior varsity team of head coach Don Gonzalez remained undefeated this season with a 31-0 victory over Manteca complemented by an 11-1 win over East Union. Against Manteca, Emily Thomasson racked up her sixth shutout win of the season and was helped by her own hitting, backed up by hits from Mia Ortiz, Charlie Spar, Reese Donaldson, Audrey Romiti, and Grace Constant who each knocked in runs. Against East Union, Thomasson won her seventh consecutive game of the season. Said Gonzalez of Thomasson’s performance, “(She) lasted six innings, allowing five hits and her first earned run of the year, while striking out nine and walking zero.” Oakdale racked up 10 hits in the game. Reese Donaldson and Taylor Lowry each collected multiple hits, as Donaldson went 3-for-4 from the plate to lead the team in hits.
The 10-3 varsity and 7-0 JV Mustangs will play road games for the next couple weeks with the next home game coming against the Kimball Jaguars on Thursday, May 4.