Oak Ridge's Kendall Kelly homered and doubled in last week's playoff game against Tracy at the Arnaiz Softball Complex in Stockton. Village Life photo by Mark Studyvin

Sports

Playoffs: Lady Trojans ousted

By From page A11 | May 31, 2017

STOCKTON — Oak Ridge’s stay in the Sac-Joaquin Division I section playoff tournament came to an abrupt end Tuesday as the Lady Trojans suffered back-to-back losses to Tracy and River City at the Arnaiz Softball Complex.

Against the Bulldogs to open, Oak Ridge’s last-inning rally fell short in a 7-6 setback; needing to stay alive in their nightcap with the Raiders, the Trojans fell victim to River City’s offensive muscle in a 12-7 defeat.

Disheartening was the fact Oak Ridge once held a 7-2 advantage over the Raiders who struggled defensively in the early innings but overtook the Trojans on the strength of two home runs, one a grand slam, to score six runs after two were out and no one on base.

The game started well for Oak Ridge, Leah Polson doubled to lead off and after Reagan Hunt sacrificed, Taylor Railey singled through the middle to plate Polson. River City then started throwing the ball around to allow Railey and Kendall Kelly to eventually score.

The Trojans put up another 3-spot in the second. Cameron Kirtlan singled, Lauren Niemiec walked and Polson worked a base-on-balls before sacrifice flys off the bats of Hunt and Railey brought in Kirtland and pinch runner Kaci Pebley. Hannah Dardano then doubled the other way to score Polson.

Oak Ridge added another in the third as Kelley Renner, aboard via a walk, ended up scoring on an error but that was it as Raider starter Amaryssa Medina settled in and shut out the Trojans the next four innings.

None of River City’s hits were cheap as the West Sac team collected 14 hits for their 12 runs. Oak Ridge had 10 hits led by Kirtlan’s 3-for-3 performance and two hits apiece from Polson and Brooke Niemiec.

Trojans-Tracy

Troy’s inability to get Tracy’s top of the lineup out in the first game was costly. So was consecutive outs at third base in the fifth that turned an inning where Oak Ridge had three hits to one it came up empty.

Hunt’s home run to dead center field tied the score in the third inning but the Bulldogs answered with two to go up 3-1.

Kelly drilled a solo shot to trim the deficit and Renner bunted her way on before Brooke Niemiec reached on an error and Lauren Niemiec rifled a single to left to load the bases.

Hunt’s infield single brought in Renner and Hayden Greene crossed on a Tracy error for the lead.

Back on defense, Oak Ridge quickly faced a bases-loaded, no-out situation. Kelly speared a ball on the infield to turn the double play as a run scored to tie the game but the Trojans, two-thirds of the way to the dugout, surrendered two more runs and another in the sixth.

Oak Ridge didn’t go quietly in its final at bat as Dardano singled with one out and Kelly doubled. Kirtlan’s fly got to the warning track to score Dardano and after Kelly raced in on a passed ball to make it 7-6, a groundout ended it.

Hunt went 3-for-4 with 2 RBIs; Dardano had three hits; Kelly was 2-for-3; and Renner 2-for-4.

Trojans went 22-7 on the season and were co-champions of the Sierra Foothill League. During the season the team enjoyed 11 and seven-game winning streaks.

Jerry Heinzer

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