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Wheatland Sun

Huskies Win Regular-Season Thriller, Earn Top Seed in D-V Bracket

May 18, 2023 12:00AM ● By Story by Steven Bryla

Sutter junior Olivia Bauer (5) pumps her dugout up after she hit a double in the first inning against East Nicolaus in the Huskies 1-0 win on Thursday, May 11. Photo by Chris Pedigo

Huskies Win Regular-Season Thriller, Earn Top Seed in D-V Bracket [2 Images] Click Any Image To Expand

SUTTER, CA (MPG) - The Sutter High School girls’ softball team beat the East Nicolaus Spartans in a non-league regular-season ending classic as they prevailed over the Spartans 1-0 on Thursday, May 11.

This was a premier matchup of arguably the top two softball programs from the top of the California border down to the Bay Area as Sutter was a highly ranked Sac-Joaquin Section team and East Nicolaus was ranked number one in the Northern Section.

The support of fans of both schools showed exactly why this was one of the most competitive games in the area where everyone should have had their eyes on.

Huskies head coach Stefanie Danna told the Dispatch prior to the game, she and her coaching staff expressed to the girls to not let the moment get too big as they were still asked to play Sutter softball.

It was a pitchers duel between Sutter junior Olivia Bauer and East Nicolaus senior Meika Lauppe.

Bauer pitched a complete game where she surrendered five hits and struck out seven.

Whoever got a hit in the game received a big roar from their fan club and Bauer opened up the bottom of the first with a double to center field.

The emotions of the game took over as she threw a big fist pump and let out a roar towards her dugout as she was safe on second.

Bauer announced her commitment to Boise State University on April 24, via social media.

She expressed to the Dispatch it had been her dream school for the last few years.

“When I went out there, I fell in love with it instantly,” Bauer said.

She added the coaching staff, players and atmosphere were big factors on the decision as well.

Sutter took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second inning as Huskies junior outfielder/third baseman Makala Schamanski singled in junior catcher Morgan Heggstrom for the lone run-batted-in (RBI) of the game and sent shockwaves throughout the complex as the Sutter side went crazy.

Prior to the Schamanski RBI, Heggstrom doubled and senior outfielder Karissa Williams was thrown out at the plate in a close play.

“We tried to attack the first strike and we accomplished that a lot today,” Schamanski said.

Danna added Sutter played phenomenal defense throughout the game. Huskies junior shortstop Grace Diaz expressed the intensity of the game to the Dispatch.

“This was a great game to end the regular season on because they are an aggressive team,” Diaz said.

The game ended in a weird scenario where Sutter junior outfielder Rylee Gillespie threw a ball and hit her cutoff to keep Spartans senior catcher Audrey Gillespie at third.

In the process of that, East Nicolaus senior utility Aaliyah Tinoco tried to take second but got caught in a pickle as Huskies junior third baseman Alexa Carino saw the attempt to take second.  After a couple throws back and forth and watching Gillespie at third, Sutter tagged Tinoco.

The Huskies celebrated with plenty of hugs on the field as the Spartans’ coaches tried to plead their case, but in the end, Sutter won the game.

The Huskies were given the number one overall seed in the CIF SJS Division V playoffs. Along with Sutter, Pioneer Valley League goes Wheatland (third seed) and Marysville (fifth seed) were also ranked in the D-V bracket.

Marysville was originally in the Division IV bracket but we’re bumped down to D-V when Escalon was bumped up to D-IV for continued success.

Danna told the Dispatch they plan to keep the same type of grind they have done all season.

“We’ve practiced hard all season and we’re not going to change our ways now,” Danna said.

The Huskies hosted Woodland Christian on Tuesday. There was also a scenario where Sutter could have played Marysville in the semifinals and could meet up with Wheatland in the section final for the second consecutive time, but for the SJS crown as both were in the Northern Section last season.

The SJS D-V final is set to be played at Cosumnes River College tomorrow, Saturday, May 20 in Sacramento at 4 p.m.