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Seniors lead way to fourth straight section title for Oak Ridge

By: Matt Long
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Oak Ridge High’s final four years playing Division II softball couldn’t have been much more dominating or satisfying. The Lady Trojans wrapped up their fourth straight Sac-Joaquin Section Division II title on Friday, taking two games from Cordova, 2-0 and 4-1, to win the championships for the fourth straight season. Oak Ridge has compiled a 99-18-2 record since the 2007 season. The team’s seniors also saved their best softball for when the games meant the most. For Gabby Goyette, Molly Ryan and Callie Wissman, this was their fourth section championship, as they were called up to the varsity team as freshmen at the beginning of the playoffs and saw limited duty. The trio began making a big mark their sophomore seasons when Goyette and Ryan were all-city selections. Jodie Richards, Jourdan Hitchings and Eugenia Tso round out the senior class. Hitchings and Richards were a big part of the team’s last two section championships. “The senior leadership and focus was what allowed us to win a section title,” Bentovoja said. “The girls have been selfless during the playoffs and had a purpose.” Not surprisingly, the seniors wanted this fourth section title badly and led the way. Goyette had a superb day on Friday against Cordova, going five-for-six at the plate and being in the middle of nearly everything. “It’s great to win (for the fourth time) because the seniors wanted it so bad,” Goyette said. “We hoped the younger girls would be focused too and they were. Kasey pitched well and we backed her up at the plate and in the field.” Ryan added, “We (the seniors) were trying to get everyone pumped up and do whatever we could to get the win. It’s amazing (to win again) and it’s a great way to start the day.” The day was extra special to the seniors, as the six girls graduated Friday evening. Bentovoja made sure that graduation wasn’t a distraction. “I told them all to check out mentally (on graduation),” Bentovoja said. “I told them graduation would be more enjoyable if they won.” Goyette echoed her coach’s words. “I wanted to forget about graduation and grad night and just focus on winning because I knew the rest of my day would be ruined if we didn’t win.”