Vanden falls, Vacaville moves on in SJS softball playoffs

SACRAMENTO — The Vanden High softball team’s season came to an end as it committed seven errors in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division II quarterfinals as it dropped a 10-7 decision against McClatchy at the Sacramento Softball Complex, Friday.

The Lions (18-5) committed four errors and matched the Vikings (14-8) hits with five but made the most out of Vanden’s errors with 10 runs, only two of which were earned.

McClatchy shut down the Vikings’ bats, though, and walked eight Vanden players, while striking out nine.

Kiwi McDaniel was the only Viking with multiple hits as she went 2 for 2 at the plate, while Bailey Tingley was 1 for 4 with one RBI. Sam Carter and Hailey Sheppard had the other hits for Vanden.

The Vikings have a solid foundation to build on for next year with sophomores Tingley and McDaniel and standout freshman Hope Brandner.

Tingley finished the year with 13 wins, 45 strikeouts and a 1.38 earned run average, while McDaniel drove in 29 runs with a .470 batting average.

Brandner will head into her sophomore year as the reigning Solano County Athletic Conference player of the year with a
.465 batting average, 37 RBIs and six home runs.

The Vikings finished the season second behind Benicia in the SCAC.

Vacaville 9, Pitman 0: At Sacramento, the Bulldogs had no trouble in their first game of the Sac-Joaquin Section Division I playoffs, especially as pitcher Katie Kibby got 10 strikeouts in her three-hit complete game, Saturday.

In its second game of the day, the Bulldogs shut down Gregori of Modesto 6-0 as Julia DePonte led the way with a three-run home run in the fourth. Alyse Rojas was 2 for 3 with a double, while Rachel Heizer added two RBIs as she was 2 for 3 at the plate.

DePonte was 3 for 4 with one RBI in the first game for Vacaville, while Heizer was 1 for 2 with two RBIs.

The Bulldogs (26-0-1) will play Pleasant Grove in the quarterfinals, Monday.

Vacaville coach Liz Sauerwein said Pleasant Grove is a traditional powerhouse and one of the best teams in the section.

“We played so well today,” the coach said. “We are excited about facing a good opponent (Pleasant Grove). As long as we keep playing like we’ve been playing and keep playing great defense, we’ll be in it.”

Prep swimming

Rodriguez’s Strong defends title

LODI — Sophomore Noah Strong defended his title as he took first in the frosh/soph 100-meter freestyle for the Rodriguez High swim team in the Sac-Joaquin section championships, Saturday.

Strong won the 100 free his freshman year and this season won the race with a 48.68-second finish. He swam a 48.18 in prelims.

In the 200 free, he swam a lifetime best, finishing third with a 1:45.24.

“I see a combo of both youth and experience,” coach Sarah McLaughlin said. “He swims with maturity and thoughtfulness and chooses his races wisely.”

The coach referred to him as the “team puppy” because of his youthful enthusiasm.

“He’s the first one with an encouraging word if a teammate has a bad race.”

Walter Bennett was seeded 15th in the 100 breast and ended up with a 10th-place finish, swimming a 1:00.23.

Jenna Butler, Midori Dobson, Leah Johnson and Camille Long set a new school record in the 200-medley relay for the varsity girls, finishing third (1:56.63) in the consolation finals.

The frosh/soph boys also set a new school record in the 200 medley relay with a 1:45.40. The team of Patrick Halsted, Bennett, Dakota Kurtz and Sebastian Sineas finished fifth in the consolation finals.

The season has ended for the Mustangs swim team, and McLaughlin could not be happier with her swimmers.

“My 2014 team was resilient,” she said. “I was impressed with the relay wins and it speaks to the strength of the collective group. They trained hard to make sure they showed up on finals day. I am proud of the work they have done all season.”

Chris Wieser, who attends Jesuit High of Carmichael, finished first in the 200 and 500 freestyles and will attend the University of Arizona on a swimming scholarship.

Prep badminton

Balancio 4th in SJS singles tourney

STOCKTON — Rodriguez High’s Raiza Balancio went 3-2 to place fourth in the Sac-Joaquin Section badminton tournament at Bear Creek High, Saturday.

Balancio opened the tournament with a 21-9, 21-12 win over Gayle Bautista of Bethel and dropped her second match to Victoria Perelez (16-21, 17-21) of Edison. After that match Balancio won three straight matches against Eunice Dionisio of Bethel (21-18, 21-13), Jessica Nguyen of Bear Creek (21-18, 21-12) and Terrie Gutierrez of Bethel (21-14, 17-21, 25-23). In a rematch against Perelez, Balancio went the distance but ultimately fell 17-21, 21-18, 14-21.

Other singles participants for the Mustangs were Bianca Cortez (1-2) and Mikaela Peralta (2-2), falling short of placing. Doubles teams Janelle Sandhu and Lei Paeste (1-2) and Vanessa Vega and Nicole Vu (1-2) also competed but did not place.

Serenity Liew represented Armijo in the Section tournament but fell short as she was eliminated by Bear Creek’s Jessica Nguyen (20-22, 21-17, 16-21). Liew opened the day with a win over Bethel’s Dionisio (22-20, 21-18) but lost 10-21, 11-21 in her second match against Jasmin Tran of Bear Creek.

Daily Republic staff


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