ROCK AND FIRE — Junior softball pitching ace Tehya Bird has been nearly unhittable through the first month of the season, leading the Eagles to a 13-0 record.

Legendary football coach Vince Lombardi once said, “If you chase perfection, you can catch excellence.”

That may be the mantra for the Cloverdale Lady Eagles softball team this season, making short work of the competition through the first month of the campaign.

The Eagles continued their diamond dominance on the NCL1 circuit, dismantling road foes St. Helena (17-0), Middletown (22-0) and Lower Lake (18-1) to push their unbeaten record to 7-0 in league and 13-0 on the season.

Cloverdale’s success is no fluke, combining outstanding pitching with solid defense and a ferocious hitting attack that is leaving opponents in the dust.

“It really has been a team effort and everyone on the team is showing improvement as the season progresses,” veteran coach Margaret Fitzgerald reported. “We have an important game at Clear Lake, who only has one league loss.”

At press time the Eagles were prepping for an April 16 visit to Clear Lake, before returning home to host Willits this Friday, April 19. Cloverdale will visit Kelseyville next Tuesday, April 23. All games start at 4 p.m.

Eagles’ trifecta  

Cloverdale opened its latest stretch in an April 9 trip to St. Helena, pounding Saints’ pitching for 16 hits to notch a 17-0 rout in five innings. Ace pitcher Tehya Bird fired a perfect game, not allowing a single batter to reach base in a no-hit, no-run, no-walk performance. Leading the hitting corps were Heather Sterling (3 for 4, 3 runs, RBI), Bird (2 for 2, 2b, HR, 4 runs, 4 RBIs), Alyssa Moffett (2 for 3, 2 runs, RBI), Lane Hughes (2 for 5, 2B, 2 runs, 3 RBIs) and Nicky Martinez (2 for 3, run, 2 RBIs).

The Eagles continued to pound the ball the following day at Middletown, racing to an 8-0 lead before exploding for 14 runs in the fifth inning to force an early stoppage to win 22-0. Bird (5 IP, 2 hits, 0 runs, 10 Ks) was nearly unhittable, while leading the team at the plate (3 for 4, 2B, 2 HRs, 0 RBIs). Other top hitters included Martinez (3 for 3, 2B, 3 runs, 2 RBIs), Sterling (3 for 4, 4 runs, RBI), Hughes (3 for 5, RBI), Vanessa Fisher (2 for 5, 2 runs, 2 RBIs), Aly Bernal (1 for 2, 2B, run, RBI), Janaye Hammond (1 for 2, 2 RBIs), Faith Holloman (1 for 1, 3 runs, RBI) and Kayli King (1 for 3, run, RBI).

Cloverdale closed out a dominant week on Friday at Lower Lake, mounting another 16-hit attack en route to a 22-1 romp.  Bird (7 IP, 4 hits, ER, 11 Ks) notched her 13th win, while leading hitters included Moffett (3 for 4, 3B, 3 runs, 4 RBIs), Martinez (3 for 5, run, 2 RBIs), Hughes (2 for 4, 2B, run, 3 RBIs), Sterling (2 for 5, run, RBI), Ahnna Randolph (1 for 2, run), Fisher (1 for 5, 2B, 2 runs, RBI), Bird (1 for 4, 3 runs, 2 RBIs), Holloman (1 for 1, 2 runs), Maci Hernandez (1 for 2, run) and Hammond (1 for 2, 3 runs, RBI).            

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