The Golden Valley softball team scored 10 runs in the fifth inning to defeat No. 4 seed Vanden 12-2 to punch their ticket into Thursday’s Sac-Joaquin Section Division III championship game.
The No. 3 seeded Cougars (28-3) will face No. 1 Oakdale (27-1-1) at the Arnaiz Softball Complex at 5 p.m. The Mustangs will have to defeat Golden Valley twice to win the title.
Maddy Stokes hit a grand slam in the fifth inning to force the 10-run mercy rule. The sophomore had three hits and drove in three runs.
Golden Valley racked up 18 hits in the game.
“Everyone was putting the ball in play,” said Cougars coach Ross Cruickshanks. “I think everybody had a hit today, too.”
Marissa Bertuccio went the distance in the circle to pick up the win for Golden Valley.
The Cougars know they have a tough test on Thursday in Oakdale and ace Lexi Webb.
“We know about Oakdale,” Cruickshanks said. “But our momentum is there, we’re putting the ball in play and our confidence is high.”
Los Banos 5, Casa Roble 1 in Lodi — The Tigers (27-1) won their 23rd straight game as Kody Cardoza pitched into the seventh inning and struck out 12 hitters. Cardoza gave up seven hits and one run.
Trent Mallonee led the Tigers offensive attack with three hits.
Los Banos advance to Monday’s Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV championship game against the winner of Thursday’s game between Casa Roble and Central Catholic.
Central Catholic 5, Livingston 4 in Lodi — The Raiders elminated the Wolves with a narrow win. Cesar Avila tripled and drove in two runs for Livingston .
The Wolves (19-12) were limited to just four hits.
Oakdale 3, Atwater 1 in Stockton — The Mustangs opened up a three-run lead early and held off the No. 3 seeded Falcons. Senior Josh Garcia went the distance on the mound with five strikeouts and allowing only five hits and one run.
Jacob Solorio had a hit, scored a run and knocked in a run for Oakdale.
Gunnar Kale doubled and scored for Atwater (25-6).
Jacob Weiss pitched a complete game for the Falcons and finished with seven strikeouts. He gave up three runs on four hits.
Ponderosa 7, Buhach Colony 4 in Stockton — The Thunder (24-6) dropped their first game in the playoffs and will face Oakdale on Thursday at 6 p.m. in an elimination game.
Jake Sapien had two of BC’s six hits, including a double and a run scored.
The Thunder tied the game at 4-4 in the sixth inning when Brandon Ruiz was hit with a pitch with the bases loaded to force in a run.
The Bruins answered with three runs in the seventh inning.