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T-Girls clinch SCL championship

DWIGHT SUGIOKA/FOR THE ARGUS-COURIER
DWIGHT SUGIOKA/FOR THE ARGUS-COURIER

Brie Gerhardt connects for one of her two home runs.

Published: Friday, May 10, 2013 at 12:47 p.m.
Last Modified: Friday, May 10, 2013 at 12:47 p.m.

Petaluma pounded out at least one hit every inning to soundly defeat second-place Analy, 12-2, to capture the Sonoma County League softball title Thursday afternoon on T-Girl Senior Day.

With seniors Dana Thomsen, Gina Barnacle and Nicole Wiecks each playing a major role in the outcome, the T-Girls rolled to their 21st consecutive victory in the last regular-season home game.

Thomsen spun a tidy five-hitter and gave up only one earned run on a windy day that would be her final effort in front of the home folks this season until the North Coast Section playoffs begin. Thomsen added an exclamation mark to her pitching performance with a double and single on the offensive side.

Barnacle hit the ball solidly in every plate appearance and knocked in a run with a single in the fourth inning. The reliable first baseman was hitting a robust .436 before the game began.

Perhaps the most overlooked play this season was the work of Wiecks, who was moved to shortstop recently when an injury to one of her teammates forced a couple of defensive changes by coach Kurt Jastrow. The slick-fielding center fielder turned in a creditable effort in the infield and quietly led the T-Girls against Analy with three hits, scoring a couple runs and knocking in a run.

Analy came into the game with a notable 18-4 record overall and trailing Petaluma by only one game in the SCL. Just as in their first meeting in Sebastopol earlier, the Tigers had no answer for the slants of Thomsen and the hard-hitting T-Girls. In their earlier game, Thomsen was perfect in a five-inning 10-0 shutout.

Analy coach Nick Houtz could only scratch his head as he gathered his team at the edge of the outfield grass before the senior ceremonies began at the end of the game. He told the Lady Tigers that they were finishing a solid season in second place, and that they could look forward to the Division III playoffs in two weeks.

Petaluma plays in Division II, and hase played in the championship game the past two seasons.

The tone for the entire game came when Petaluma leadoff hitter Brie Gerhardt found a pitch by sophomore Analy starter Taylor Christy to her liking and lofted it up in the wind for a home run.

In her next at bat, with Wiecks aboard in the second inning, Gerhardt deposited a long blast over the outfield fence that needed absolutely no additional help, and the T-Girls went ahead, 4-0. Gerhardt, who was moved to the catching position and second baseman Joelle Krist paced the run production on the day with 3 RBI's each. The hard hitting sophomore who was promoted to the varsity late in the season last year, is now leading the T-Girls in RBI's with 18.

Outfielder Taylor Kerrigan, hidden in the ninth batting slot for the afternoon, matched Wiecks with three hits for Petaluma. The T-Girls finished a very productive day at the plate with 18 base hits.

Analy got its only earned run off of Thomsen in the top of the third inning when Dina Goodrum ripped a double into the outfield gap, scoring Hillary Brennan, who reached base when she was hit by a pitched ball. It was the second hit by Goodrum for the afternoon.

The victory gives the streaking T-Girls an overall record of 21-1 and 11-0 in the SCL. Petaluma will finish its regular schedule when the T-Girls travel to Healdsburg on Tuesday afternoon.

Heading into the Division II North Coast Section playoffs Petaluma, Clayton Valley, Alhambra and Concord all have undefeated records in their respective leagues.

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