Softball: A bad game for St. Vincent, a win for Petaluma

In a forgettable softball game played in front of home fans the St. Vincent Lady Mustangs fell 8-0 to league-leading St. Helena on Monday.

There will be no do-over for the Mustangs who took the field with only nine eligible players at the disposal of coach Don Jensen. St. Vincent was playing without the service of regular starting catcher Maddie DelaMontanya , and it forced three position changes on an already pandemic-challenged roster.

No excuses came from the Mustang dugout as Jensen and his crew knew that St. Vincent would be in for a handful before the day began. “St. Helena is at the top of the North Central I League this year, and they are 10-0 in league so far. Their 1-0 effort in a loss against a very good Windsor team gave notice earlier in the season that the Saints would be difficult to deal with, “Jensen said.

With DelaMontanya unavailable because of her sister's graduation, the Mustangs adjusted, but each inning was a challenge.

Only two of the Saints’ runs were earned against pitcher Sophia Skubic, but the Mustangs threatened only once in the game against the effective pitching of Saint pitchers Aribella Farrell and Carter Dahline.

St. Vincent had an opportunity in the bottom of the second inning after sophomore Katarina Cespedes bounced one back to the circle and had it roll through the wickets of Farrell for an infield base hit. Cespedes then went to the races, stealing both second and third base.

Aggressive base running got the Mustangs short circuited after Abbie Carvajal walked. St. Vincent tried a double steal and it backfired when the veteran Saint infield turned in a slick double play by first nailing Cespedes easily at the plate. Carvajal was thrown out at third base to complete the play.

Skubic pitched well for St. Vincent, but gave up two earned runs which sealed the verdict. She struck out eight Saints’ hitters and improved her ERA to 2.11.

“We do have a strong team this season,” acknowledged St. Helena coach Brandon Ferrell, “but the good thing for us is that there are only three seniors on our roster.”

Farrell did a good job getting all his players into the game, including Alexa Avila who lined out to Carvajal at second base in a solid defensive play for the Mustangs.

Sophomore Linnea Cupp had two hits off Skubic to pace the St. Helena offense. Skubic had the best St. Vincent hit with a clean drive into right field in the first inning.

St. Vincent fell to 6-4 overall with the defeat. The Mustangs hope to get back on the winning path with the first of two consecutive games against Elsie Allen from Santa Rosa beginning on Thursday.

St. Helena takes a 10-0 NCL I record into a contest against second-place Clear Lake later this week. The Saints lead Clear Lake by three games.

Shutout win for Trojans

Rachael Bles pitched Petaluma’s girls softball team to a 10-0 shutout win over Montgomery in a non-league game Monday afternoon.

Bles allowed just one hit in five innings, striking out four. The only hit for Montgomery was a single by Bella Pena in the fourth inning.

Petaluma got its offense going early scoring a run in the first inning on an RBI ground out by Karlie Berncich. Four more runs tallied in the second inning with Pomi highlighting the rally with a home run.

Petaluma finished with 11 hits. Bles led the parade with three hits.

Last week, the Trojans fell behind early and were never able to catch up in a 7-2 loss to the Vintage Crushers.

Vintage scored two runs in the opening inning and Petaluma was never ahead against Crusher pitcher Shelby Morse who pitched six innings, allowing two runs on six hits.

Bless and Katrina Johnson each pitched three innings for the Trojans.

Petaluma continued to feature the long ball, with Mo Lynch slamming a home run in the seventh inning. Payton Yeomans and Pomi also had hits for the Trojans.

Petaluma is now 7-3 for the season.

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