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Lady Trojans finish tourney with three straight wins

By: Matt Long
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After four straight losses, Oak Ridge High’s varsity softball team picked up some much-needed wins on Friday and Saturday during the Stampede Tournament in Livermore. Oak Ridge entered the tournament coming off league losses to Sheldon, 4-2, on April 1 and then Pleasant Grove on April 4, 3-0. Those losses dropped their league record to 1-2 and put the team in a bit of a hole trailing 3-0 Pleasant Grove and 2-1 Sheldon and St. Francis. “With all due respect to Kasey (Stanchek), I think Ally Carda is throwing the best of any pitcher in the league right now,” Oak Ridge coach Marc Bentovoja said. “She’s dialed in and pitching well. As a team I believe we can play with them, but we’ve got to play flawless defensively.” Not only did Oak Ridge fail to score against Carda and Pleasant Grove, but they also committed two errors and Stanchek missed her spot on a couple of key pitches. “Kasey will be the first to tell you that she missed on a couple of change ups that they got out in the outfield for hits,” Bentovoja said “If we can tighten up our defense and hit our spots, we can play with them.” Following the loss to Pleasant Grove, Oak Ridge dropped the first two games of the Stampede Tournament, falling to Amador Valley, 5-0 and Mitty, 8-1. The team, however, rebounded to beat Vacaville, 2-1, on Friday and then picked up a pair of wins over Heritage, 4-0, and Monte Vista, 7-0 on Saturday. Stanchek pitched well in all five games, according to Bentovoja. Lauren Bertoy and Megan Watson also turned in solid performances at the plate, while Jackie Schmaeling played strong defensively behind the plate. “It was a little bit of bad, a little bit of good,” Bentovoja said. “We struggled against the strong teams, still committing mental errors and some untimely physical errors. We righted the ship in a lot of respects, though, and put ourselves in good position for this week.” Needing a league win, Oak Ridge plays host to St. Francis today and then Folsom on Friday. “At this point all of our league games are big,” Bentovoja said. “We just want to build on how we finished the tournament.” Friday’s game against Folsom is also a fundraiser for breast cancer awareness, featuring free concessions. The team is asking for donations to the Susan G. Komen Foundation. Last year the program raised $2,400. The junior varsity teams play at 3 p.m. with the varsity game to follow. KNOW AND GO What: Folsom vs. Oak Ridge JV and varsity softball games, fundraisers for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation When: JV, 3 p.m. Friday, Varsity to follow at approximately 5 p.m. Where: Oak Ridge High varsity softball field Cost: Free concessions, donations asked for to benefit Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation