Sheldon’s 5-3 win at the Tracy Sports Complex puts the Huskies (16-9 overall, 6-4 Delta River League) among the top 16 Division I teams that will compete in the championship tournament starting Saturday, May 19, at the Sacramento Softball Complex.
The top eight teams will move into a double-elimination bracket, with the championship games to be played Wednesday, May 23.
Tracy (22-6, 8-2 San Joaquin Athletic Association) was unable to make anything happen offensively in the first three innings. When Tracy did manage a few hits, the Huskies were able to get the runners out on the base paths.
“Our bats didn’t get started early enough,” junior first baseman Angela Mariani said. “I know we could have beat them on any other day if our bats were working, but it just wasn’t going for us in the beginning.”
Sheldon’s fourth inning included four base hits, including back-to-back doubles off of Tracy starting pitcher Julia Fernandez, before Tayler Misfeldt came in to finish the game.
Tracy’s Brianna Warner drew a walk in the Bulldogs’ half of the fourth and came around on hits from Mariani and Alee Balanon.
Warner then scored on Fernandez’s two-out single, but the inning ended with the bases loaded.
Sheldon scored an unearned run in the sixth, and Tracy scored in the seventh after Sabrina George led off the inning with a single and Fisher reached on an infield single, her third hit of the day. With two out, Mariani drove them both in with a line-drive single up the middle before the Huskies got the final out.
Even with the loss, players were upbeat afterward, mainly because they know that nearly everyone will be back next year.
“I knew from the beginning that we were going to be a good team,” sophomore shortstop and leadoff batter Fisher said. “I know we’re going to be great next year.”