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‘Most exciting win in Bruin history’

STOCKTON – The Bear River softball team found itself trailing Oakdale by one heading into the bottom of the seventh inning.

The Bruins tied it up.

The Bear River team found itself trailing by one heading into the bottom of the eighth inning.



The Bruins tied it up.

Once the game reached the 10th inning, Bear River just wanted it to end.




The Bruins won it.

It took three extra frames and countless tense moments, but the Bruins survived the do-or-die opening game of the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs Tuesday at Arnaiz stadium in Stockton, downing a pesky Oakdale team 4-3.

“It was the most exciting win in Bruin history,” said a fired-up Bear River coach Duane Zauner after the game. “No doubt about it.”

With the win, Bear River advanced into the double-elimination portion of the tournament and defeated Ceres 9-0.

“That gives us the school record in wins with 25,” said Zauner, whose team is now 25-3 on the season. “We went 24-5 in the 1996 season.”

The Bruins now face the top seed from the Valley Oak League, East Union, at 5 p.m. on Friday in Stockton. Bear River and East Union are each 2-0, while Whitney and Ceres are 1-1 and will also face off Friday in an elimination game.

In the first game, the Bruins took the lead early when Courtney Ceo led off the bottom of the first inning with a walk. She advanced on a Jenna Wermes groundout and scored when Kelly Shepard reached on an error.

Oakdale evened the score in the fourth and took a 2-1 lead in the fifth.

Trailing by one heading into the seventh, the Bruins decided they weren’t ready for their season to end just yet.

Shepard led off the inning with a double and headed to third on an error. Katie Mathis grounded out to first to score Shepard.

Oakdale, not to be outdone, scored again in the top of the eighth to put the pressure on the Bruins once again, and once again the Bruins answered.

After the first two Bear River batters grounded out to short, Courtney Ceo got things started with a single and a stolen base. Senior Ashley Sawyer then connected on a single to score Ceo and continue the Bruins’ season once again.

During the playoffs, International rules apply after the 10th inning, which means each inning starts with a runner on second. The Bruins used that to their advantage with Oakdale at the plate.

With a speedy runner on second, Oakdale’s Monique Galvan sent a pop fly to left field. Brooke Mosman chased it down and sent the runner scrambling back to second.

Oakdale’s Sissy Jimenez then hit a sharp line drive to short, which Courtney Ceo snagged and tossed to second for the double play.

In the bottom of the 10th, Gabby Irvin started the inning on second with Jasmine McGown at the plate.

McGown put down a sacrifice bunt to advance Irvin to third, and Oakdale decided to intentionally walk Courtney Ceo. Sawyer then hit into a fielder’s choice and Irvin was thrown out at the plate.

That brought junior catcher Jenna Wermes to the plate.

“It was very nerve-wracking,” Wermes said. “The whole game they’d been pitching me outside, but I got one inside. I stepped up there just feeling like I had to do it. I had a job to do and I had to do it.”

She did it.

Wermes hit a sharp grounder between the first and second basemen to score Ceo and win the game.

Britney Ceo threw 135 pitches in 10 innings for the complete-game victory. She gave up three earned runs on six hits and five walks but struck out 12 Oakdale batters, including leadoff hitter Nicole Henderson in each of her five at bats.

Shepard was 2-for-4 with a double while Wermes, Courtney Ceo, Sawyer, Kathryn Rabak and Britney Ceo each had hits in the game.

Courtney Ceo scored three of the Bruins’ four runs, including the one to tie the game in the eighth and the game-winner in the 10th.

In the nightcap against Ceres Kelly Shepard took the mound and pitched the shutout, including nine strikeouts. Shepard struck out the side in order in the sixth. The two Bruins pitchers combined to strike out 21 opponents in 17 innings of work.

Courtney Ceo was 1-for-4 with a run and 4 RBIs while Sawyer was 1-for-3 with a run. Wermes was 1-for-4 with 2 RBIs, Shepard was 1-for-3 with a run and Rabak was 1-for-2 with a run. Katie Mathis was 1-for-2 with two runs scored and Tori Humbard was 1-for-3 with a run. Jasmine McGown was 1-for-1 with two walks, an RBI and two runs.

Bear River 4, Oakdale 3 (10)

Oakdale

Nicole Henderson 5 0 0 0

Monique Galvan 3 1 2 1

Sissy Jimenez 4 0 0 0

Ashton Brown 2 0 0 1

Macenzie Taylor 4 1 1 0

Jessica George 4 0 1 0

Danielle Onken 2 0 0 1

Katie Rissetto 3 0 1 0

Andrea Lutz 3 1 1 0

Totals 30 3 6 3

Bear River

Courtney Ceo 3 3 1 0

Ashley Sawyer 5 0 1 1

Jenna Wermes 5 0 1 1

Kelly Shepard 4 1 2 0

Kathryn Rabak 4 0 1 0

Katie Mathis 2 0 0 1

Brooke Musman 1 0 0 0

Tori Humbard 2 0 0 0

Britney Ceo 4 0 1 0

Jasmine McGown 3 0 0 0

Totals 33 4 7 3

Oakdale 000 110 010 0 – 3 6 2

Bear River 100 000 110 1 – 4 7 1

IP R ER BB SO

Oakdale

Andrea Lutz 10 4 2 3 4

Bear River

Britney Ceo 10 3 3 5 12


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