PETALUMA TAKES BIG STEP TO ANOTHER SOFTBALL TITLE
A dynasty appears to be continuing.
The Petaluma softball team winning a SCL championship isn’t breaking news. It is almost taken for granted. They took a major step forward in winning their fourth straight league championship with a win over a program that has been a minor thorn in the side.
Petaluma is looking for its fourth straight SCL title. 2011 was the last season they didn’t win a solo crown. They tied that year for that title with Analy. 2010 was the last season that they didn’t win a title at all. That one went to Analy.
Going into Thursday’s home game with Analy, Petaluma had a one game lead over Analy. Petaluma moved into great shape for its fourth straight league championship, with a 4-1 win. Petaluma now takes a two game bulge over Analy and Sonoma Valley, with five games to go. Petaluma is finished with Analy and has one more game with Sonoma Valley.
The scary part about this championship run is it looks like it could last for a while. The reason to think that is because their main pitcher Emily O’ Keefe is a sophomore. Even though she gave up a season high ten hits, she pitched her tenth complete game and raised her record to 12-1. Her ERA dropped to 1.71. Last year she went 12-4 with an ERA of 2.89.
There were some chances against O’ Keefe, but Analy left ten men on base. That trend started in the top of the first, the inning they scored their only run. After they scored the run they had the bases loaded and two outs, but that would be all they would get. Analy would have a baserunner as far as second in every inning but two, but couldn’t come up with the big hit.
Meanwhile Petaluma tied the game in the bottom of the first and then got the game winner with three in the fourth; two of them after two were out. Those last two were on a single by O’ Keefe, which was one of her three hits on the day.
Petaluma, who is the No. 1 team in the YSN365.com rankings, has won six straight and is 16-2 on the season. That six game winning streak is small compared to what they have in the SCL. They have won 35 straight SCL games. The last time they lost a league game was April 26th, 2012. That was so long ago that Windsor was still in the league. That was the team beat Petaluma that day 6-1.
NORTH BAY LEAGUE NOT SO CLEAR CUT
For the second straight day a NBL race has changed.
Today will make it three for three. That is the baseball race when No. 1 Maria Carrillo hosts No. 2 Casa Grande. On Wednesday, Maria Carrillo had a twenty six game league winning streak snapped in a 1-0 loss to Cardinal Newman. That dropped Maria Carrillo into a first place tie with Casa Grande, one game ahead of Cardinal Newman, who is at Rancho Cotate.
The change on Thursday was in the NBL Softball race. No. 3 Ukiah took over sole possession of first place with a dramatic 7-5 nine inning win over No. 4 Montgomery. Ukiah scored two in the seventh to force extra innings and then got back to back homers from Kaylah Pardini and Mykala Ramsey in the ninth to win it. It was a team tying high third homer of the season for Pardini.
The win was Ukiah’s tenth straight and raised its record to 14-4.
As the game went on, it turned bigger than being just being between the No. 3 and No. 4 teams in the YSN365.com rankings. Going into the day, Ukiah and Rancho Cotate were in a tie in the loss column for the league lead, one game ahead of Maria Carrillo and Montgomery.
Rancho Cotate was upset by Cardinal Newman 4-1. Meanwhile Maria Carrillo defeated Casa Grande 10-8. Had Montgomery won, there would have been a virtual four way tie for first place. Instead, Ukiah has a one game lead over Rancho Cotate and Maria Carrillo, two over Montgomery. Ukiah has played one more game than the other two and the one game lead in in the loss column.
Next Tuesday the league race will change again one way or another. That is because Rancho Cotate is at Ukiah.
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