SportStars Magazine

Sierra’s Wall To Wall Dynasty

Lindsey Walljasper leads Sierra softball to SJS title

Lindsey Walljasper Closed Her Four-Year Career By Leading Sierra Softball To A Third Title — And The Timberwolves Fifth With A Walljasper In The Circle •

Lindsey Walljasper leads Sierra softball to SJS title

VIDEO: Click the image to view our video featuring highlights of all four SJS Softball Championships from May 23.

A blue banner gripped tightly in one hand, Lindsey Walljasper used the other to clutch family and fans after Sierra softball triumphed 3-1 over Calaveras in the Sac-Joaquin Section Division IV championships at Arnaiz Stadium in Stockton on May 23.

The only one missing from that embrace was her older sister, Allie Walljasper, who was two days away from pitching in the NCAA Softball Super Regionals for No. 12 LSU against No. 8 Florida State.

Lindsey will forgive her only sibling for missing her third section title win — though she may remind Allie that she carries a 3-2 advantage in banners won at Sierra.

Incredibly, the sisters have pitched Sierra softball to five title wins in Div. IV, greatly accounting for the most championships in that bracket by a single team in SJS history. Allie won banners in 2011 and 2013, while Lindsey won it all in 2015, 2017 and 2018.

And the Walljaspers aren’t lone wolves.

“Having my team have my back this whole time is such an amazing experience,” Lindsey said after the win. “We bonded so good this whole season, from the beginning all the way to the end — and we have been each other’s backbones.

 

Lindsey Walljasper leads Sierra softball to SJS title

Sierra sophomore shortstop Lola Guevara made a massive impact both with her bat and glove in 2018. (Photos by Ike Dodson)

“That’s definitely a big part of why we are here.”

Leading hitter Lola Guevara, one of the best bats in Northern California, is another big part of that success.

She hit .509 this season with a team-high 26 hits and 26 runs. The sophomore shortstop also made a dazzling stab to catch a line-drive in the bottom of the seventh inning in the title game, and fired a dart to first to double-up a Calaveras runner and win the game.

“I just caught it, saw the runner off the base and I knew that was my shot to end the game,” Guevara said. “Before games I always think about how much I want to turn double plays, and that one was really special.”

Guevara, who also played a big role in Sierra’s 7-1 win over Calaveras in last year’s Div. IV finale, said the 2018 championship was extra special, since it’s the final season for head coach Vic DeAnda.

“It took hard work,” DeAnda said. “It seemed like every game in the playoffs we had somebody come through for us.”

Lindsey Walljasper leads Sierra softball to SJS title

Callie Crain shoots a hit back up the middle during the SJS Div. IV final against Calaveras on May 23.

Callie Crain, who hit .442 with 23 hits this year, smashed a three-run home run in a second-round win over Ripon. The team also saw sharp swings from Samantha Lorge (.338 average, nine home runs, 32 RBIs).

Walljasper, committed to play for Nebraska, hit .456 with seven home runs and 23 RBIs, but she performed her real magic on the mound, going 17-2 with a .190 ERA and 100 strikeouts. Her opponents’ batting average was a dismal .145.

“This is what everybody wants at the end of their career and it’s exactly what I have,” Lindsey Walljasper said. “It’s been a great year.”

DeAnda, who became head coach the same year Lindsey stepped onto the Manteca campus as an immediate program ace, marvels at his four-year pitching/hitting phenom.

“That kid is so competitive,” he said. “When it comes to situations like the bases loaded, she just comes through every time.

“It’s hard to win even one section title, and it’s even more special back-to-back. It tells you how great of a pitcher she is. When the going gets tough, she just comes through like she has ice in her blood.”

Sierra softball went 19-4 on the year and shared Valley Oak League championship honors with Oakdale, a team ranked No. 2 in Northern California by SportStars entering the playoffs. Sierra lost to Oakdale 6-0 in an April 4 meeting, but won the next 12 games, including a 1-0 VOL finale against Oakdale May 2 to carry momentum into the section title game.

Oakdale was eliminated by Vanden-Fairfield in the Div. III playoff bracket, and Vanden ultimately surrendered a Div. III title to Benicia.

Lindsey Walljasper leads Sierra softball to SJS title

Lindsey Walljasper fires a pitch toward the plate during the SJS Div. IV final.

“Our league definitely pushed us to the spot we are today … Oakdale, East Union and really all the coaches and players in our league,” Lindsey said.

Big sister also had an impact.

Lindsey watched her sister achieve historic success as a MaxPreps All-American and Cal-Hi Sports All-State selection for Sierra softball, and hasn’t missed Allie’s prolific achievements for LSU for four straight years. Allie is 60-21 with 410 strikeouts and a 1.54 ERA in 581 innings.

“I wish she was here right now,” Lindsey said Wednesday. “I know she would not miss this for anything else. 

“She has had such a huge impact on my life, ever since we were young playing ball outside in the yard, until now.”

Allie didn’t take long to take note of her kid sister’s feat via Twitter. “History made,” she posted moments after the championship game. “So many records broken and a hell of a high school career. You have done so much with Sierra across your chest it’s unreal and unnoticed to some. … I’m so proud of you (Lindsey) and can’t wait to see what the future holds
#MyAllAroundAthlete.”

Calaveras managed to tag Lindsey for five hits Wednesday. Two of them were belted by Keelie Koepp, who also knocked in the team’s only run.

Sierra’s damage came in third inning, when hits by Crain and speedy second baseman Lisette Mejias set the table for RBI knocks by Tierra Solario, Desiree Mejias and Guevara. Lindsey struck out six and walked four.

Calaveras, which avenged a bracket defeat to Rosemont-Sacramento to make the title game, also won games against Dixon and Kimball-Tracy. Sierra beat Ripon 11-5, Kimball 13-3 and Rosemont 2-1 to reach the finale.

Lindsey will join a Nebraska squad that went 31-23 this season and fell 4-3 to Michigan State in the Big Ten Tournament. She will look to keep that family name in the win column, and be conveniently unavailable in the Super Regionals the next time Sierra makes the playoffs.

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