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Vista beats Cosumnes Oaks for a second time, eyes rematch with Liberty Ranch

By: Matt Long/Telegraph Sports Editor
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It seems as though Vista del Lago has Cosumnes Oaks’ number, beating the defending Sierra Valley Conference champs twice this season. Now they have to figure out a way to beat Liberty Ranch on Friday to further entrench themselves in first place in the conference. Vista enters this week leading the conference with a 4-1 record with Liberty Ranch hot on their heels at 5-2 and coming off a 5-4 win over the Eagles on April 16. The teams meet at 4:15 p.m. Friday at Vista for a rematch. Having taken care of Cosumnes Oaks, the third-place team, on Friday, 9-6, the Eagles hope to pick up wins over Galt (1-3) on Monday and Union Mine (3-2) on Wednesday, as they prepare with their showdown with Liberty Ranch. Against Cosumnes Oaks the Eagles fell behind 2-0 in the top of the first inning, but scored two runs in the second, third and fourth innings to take a 6-2 lead. The Wolfpack added two runs in the fifth and sixth, but Vista scored once in the bottom of the fifth and matched them with two runs in the bottom of the sixth to regain momentum. The Eagles only had seven hits, but benefitted from five Cosumnes Oaks errors that proved to be the difference in the game. The top of the order did a lot of the damage, as Catherine Guidry, Morgan Theis and Tayana Mata had four hits in eight at bats, scored six runs and drove in two. Guidry had two hits; Theis had an infield hit, reached twice on an error and added a sacrifice bunt, while Mata doubled in two runs in the sixth inning to secure the win. All three players scored two runs. “I was just thinking, ‘be patient’ because my other at bats I wasn’t patient,” Mata said of her two-run single. “I just wanted to put the bat on the ball, that’s all.” Christina Guidry also scored two runs, reaching base three times on a hit and two walks. Ashley Muzzi singled and drove in a run, while Amanda Machado singled and had two RBI from the eighth spot in the lineup. Olivia Brown pitched the first four innings, her best coming in the fourth when she struck out the side. She walked the first batter in the fifth and left with a 2-0 count on the second batter, replaced by Theis. Battling a virus for nine days, Theis gave it all she had on her 18th birthday, allowing two runs in the fifth and sixth innings before sending the Wolfpack down in order in the seventh. “I’ve had this viral infection since last Wednesday,” Theis explained with a weak, shaky and barely audible high-pitched voice. “This is the best I’ve sounded since then and I’m coughing all the time, get out of breath easily and am low on energy. Based on my energy level, I thought I did pretty well out there even though I didn’t have my best stuff.” The key play of the game, however, could have come in the top of the third inning. After the Eagles had tied the game at two in the second, Cosumnes Oaks had runners on first and second and Briana Pamplona singled to center. Vista center fielder Catherine Guidry picked the ball from the ground and came up firing to home where Machado made the tag in plenty of time to get the third out at the plate. “I was speechless,” Mata said of Guidry’s play. “That was the most amazing throw.” Vista coach Robert Reed added, “Catherine is definitely a weapon for us in center field.” Reed was pleased with his team’s play. “This was a huge game for us,” he said. “We fought back after being down 2-0, put a lot of balls in play and put a lot of pressure on their defense. I’m proud of our mental focus, especially after losing to River City earlier in the week. They have confidence in themselves. They know they can score runs. They executed the game plan.”