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Del Oro doubles its pleasure

Golden Eagles stay hot, moving into a second-place tie with win over Woodcreek
By: Ray Hacke Journal Sports Writer
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LOOMIS — Tuesday was really “twos day” for the Del Oro High softball team. Junior first baseman Kelsey Mooney turned a single to left into a two-run homer thanks to two errors that occurred on the same play, and the Golden Eagles defeated visiting Woodcreek 2-0 on a rainy afternoon to move into a tie for second place in the Sierra Foothill League. The win was Del Oro’s fifth in its past six games and boosted the Golden Eagles’ playoff hopes. “I’ve thought all along that we have a good team and we’ve got good players,” Golden Eagles coach John Peck said. “It’s just a matter of them coming together, and that’s what they’re doing right now.” Alex Watilo picked up the victory in the pitcher’s circle for Del Oro (11-10, 5-3 SFL). The senior struck out three batters and scatted four hits, twice pitching her way out of trouble with runners on third. Watilo outdueled Woodcreek senior Brianna Melgard, who only allowed two hits. Both of those hits, however, came in the crucial fourth inning. Sophomore second baseman Savannah Pingree singled to center with two out to spoil Melgard’s no-hit bid. Mooney followed with her base hit, which kept rolling toward the fence after the Wolverines’ left fielder overran the ball. As Pingree wheeled around third and sprinted for home, Woodcreek’s shortstop took the relay from the left fielder. Pingree scored and Mooney went to third as the shortstop’s wild throw to the plate caromed off the backstop. Mooney then raced home as Melgard ran over to pick up the ball and threw to Wolverines catcher Jazmine Lee. Mooney slid headfirst across the plate to beat Lee’s tag. “I thought the best way (to score) was to get dirty,” said Mooney, her black uniform caked with mud after the game. “I saw my coach waving me on at third and I thought, ‘I’m going. I’m going.’ That’s what was in my mind.” “They were aggressive (on the base paths),” Peck said of Pingree and Mooney. “That’s what we want out of them — aggressiveness. They saw the opportunity and they went for it. “When the ball gets past the outfielder, their instructions are to go. They came in hard, got down in the dirt and made a good, aggressive play.” The win over second-place Woodcreek (16-7, 5-3) had both Mooney and Peck excited about the Golden Eagles’ postseason prospects. “We’ve got a great shot at the playoffs now,” Mooney said. “We’re building momentum,” Peck said. “Getting some momentum going is kind of the key.”