Local high school softball teams will begin the final phase of the season this week when Analy and El Molino take the field in their respective North Bay League tournaments.
The Tigers (5-5, 9-11-1) will represent the No. 3 seed in the four-team NBL Oak Division playoff tourney, traveling to face No. 2-seeded Windsor in the opener on May 7 (after press time). Should Analy win, it will face the survivor of the Montgomery-Rancho Cotate game on Thursday, May 9, at Santa Rosa Junior College (time TBA).
Meanwhile the Lions (7-3, 11-9) tied for second place in the NBL Redwood Division and were preparing for a May 7 clash with Santa Rosa in the league playoff opener. The winner will likely face No. 1-seeded Cardinal Newman on Thursday, May 9, at SRJC (time TBA).
Also figuring prominently in both teams’ plans are likely spots in the upcoming North Coast Section playoffs. The NCS seeding committee meets on May 12 to fill out the divisional brackets.
Lions finish strong
El Molino put an exclamation point on a resurgent league campaign in the final week of the regular season, recording routs over Piner and Healdsburg.
The Lions played host to the Prospectors on April 30, riding the strong arm of freshman pitcher Katelynn Tourady (6 IP, 3 hits, 0 runs, 10 Ks) in a 10-0 rout. El Mo took a 5-0 lead after five innings and put a five-spot on the board in the sixth to force an early stoppage on the 10-run rule. Leading hitters were Ahnicka Kjaer (3 for 3, 2 2Bs, 2 runs, RBI), Bridget Niclaes (2 for 3, 2B, 2 runs, RBI), Bella Gaab (2 for 3, 2B, 3 runs, RBI), Kiara Garcia (1 for 4, 4 RBIs), Natalie Alberigi (1 for 4, run), Erika Olson (1 for 4, RBI) and Tourady (1 for 3, run).
The Lions traveled to Healdsburg for the NBL finale on May 2, busting it wide open with 15 runs in the fourth inning en route to a 20-3 victory in five. Tourady (5 IP, 5 hits, 3 ERs, 7 Ks) earned the win, while top hitters included Grace St. Marie (2 for 3, 3B, run, 3 RBIs), Alberigi (2 for 5, run, 3 RBIs), Tourady (2 for 4, 4 runs, RBI), Olson (1 for 2, 3 runs, 2 RBIs), Gaab (1 for 2, 2 runs, 4 RBIs), Kjaer (1 for 2, 2B, 3 runs, RBI), Niclaes (1 for 4, 2B, 2 runs) and Garcia (1 for 1, 2B, 2 runs, 3 RBIs).
Tigers fall in finales
Things didn’t go as planned for the Tigers in the NBL Oak Division finales, starting with a tough 1-0 loss at Windsor on April 30. The game was scoreless after five innings, but the Jaguars pushed across a solo run in the sixth to escape with a one-run victory. Analy hurlers Carson Rasmussen (4 IP, 4 hits, 0 ERs, 2 Ks) and Olivia Franceschi (3 IP, 1 hit, 0 runs) turned in strong outings, while top hitters were Chloe Hadrich (1 for 3), Brea Lawrence (1 for 3), Franceschi (1 for 3) and Leah Lawrence (1 for 3).
Analy wrapped up the NBL schedule on May 2 at first-place Rancho Cotate, spotting the Cougars a 5-0 lead after two en route to a 5-1 loss. Rasmussen (6 IP, 8 hits, 4 ERs, 2 Ks) took the loss while top hitters included Cameron Cordoza (2 for 3), Hadrich (2 for 3), Leah Lawrence (1 for 3), Brea Lawrence (1 for 3), Caitlin Caughie (1 for 2) and Elliot Gorath (1 for 1).