The North Bay League baseball race has been pretty remarkable so far and we have only just begun.
Going into Friday’s action, Rancho Cotate has a one game lead over Cardinal Newman and Montgomery.
During the next three games, two of those teams are meeting each other, starting off with the Friday afternoon game with No. 1 Casa Grande at No. 3 Cardinal Newman.
Next Wednesday, Montgomery travels to Casa Grande and the whirlwind week ends next Friday when Montgomery hits the road again going this time going to Cardinal Newman.
During the same three days when two of the three leaders aren’t meeting each other, they will be meeting Maria Carrillo who is 10-5 overall and 3-2 in the league, which is tied for fourth with Rancho Cotate. So with the league reaching the halfway point, five teams are two games apart.
So far the closeness of the race has been more about the closeness of the games. This next week will tell us how close of race the second half will be.
Casa Grande goes for its 15th straight win. They probably don’t care if it would be its sixth straight one run win at the same time.
Cardinal Newman, Montgomery and Maria Carrillo all have three game winning streaks.
The Maria Carrillo-Montgomery game is at Montgomery.
Rancho Cotate after a 3-0 start has lost two straight and are at Santa Rosa.
RANCHO COTATE KEEPS CONTROL OF SOFTBALL RACE
Like the NBL Baseball race, the NBL Softball race has one undefeated team and that is No. 4 Rancho Cotate. They stayed undefeated by defeating Casa Grande 7-2 in a game closer than the score indicates.
Casa Grande carried a 2-1 lead into the sixth inning when Vickie Espinoza hit a grand slam to turn the game around.
Rancho Cotate is now 7-4 overall and has a one game lead over Maria Carrillo who defeated Santa Rosa 9-3. Mikaela Francis and Rochelle Schulze each hit two run homers for the Pumas. Schulze’s homer was part of a three hit game and a six run fourth in which Maria Carrillo took a 9-0 lead.
Windsor is at Cardinal Newman this afternoon. The winner of that game will join Maria Carrillo at 3-1.
SCL SHOWDOWNS LOOMING
In the SCL Softball race No. 1 Petaluma and No. 2 Analy both won to stay undefeated to set up a battle for first place next Tuesday at Analy.
The No.2 Analy and No. 5 Petaluma baseball teams could also be meeting for first place at the same time as the softball teams on Tuesday in Petaluma. Before getting to that though they have to take care of business on Friday. No. 2 Analy is at Healdsburg while No. 5 Petaluma hosts Piner.
GOOD DAY FOR SRJC
The SRJC baseball team has its biggest lead of the season in the Big 8 race after defeating Cosumnes River 1-0. Jason Alexander went eight innings to get the win and raise his record to 6-0. Tyler Sanders picked up his third save.
The lone run came in the seventh on a double by Siosi Poti, which scored Nico Filice who had started the inning off with a double.
SRJC moved out to a two game lead with seven to play because second place Sierra was defeated by San Joaquin 11-4.
SRJC, who is now 24-3-1, will finish the three game series with Cosumnes River on the road on Saturday.
SHOWDOWN WEEK FOR SSU SOFTBALL
No. 17 Sonoma State can make a statement this weekend and get into the CCAA race at the same time. The have a four game series at No. 7 Humboldt State with doubleheaders on Friday and Saturday. The action starts at 1 pm on Friday and 11 am on Saturday.
Sonoma State goes into the weekend two games behind Humboldt State in the league race. The two teams met last Sunday in the T of C tournament in Turlock where Humboldt State took a 1-0 win.
Despite that score SSU Ali Palermo was name the top hitter of the tournament and the CCAA Player of the week. During the tournament she went 14 of 25 with two homers and 11 RBI. On the season she is hitting .411 with a team high nine homers and 40 RBI.
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