The North Bay League split thrillers in the opening round of the NCS Softball Playoffs.
First the good news. No. 9 Rancho Cotate scored all its six runs in regulation in the fourth inning and went on to defeated No. 8 Redwood 7-6 in nine innings.
Rancho Cotate gave up two runs in each of the second and third innings to fall behind 4-0. Then they had the big fourth, with the runs supplied on two homers, in a rally that started with two outs and nobody on base. The inning was extended by an error and they took advantage of that. Vickie Espinoza hit a homer, her first of the season, to cut the lead to 4-2.
The Cougars weren’t done yet. A single and two walks loaded the bases when Katie Rohrer smashed a grand slam to give Rancho Cotate a 6-4 lead.
Redwood tied the game with a two run sixth to force extra innings. Rohrer scored the game winner on what amounts to a Little League type of play. She led off the ninth with a single and ended up scoring on the same play after two Redwood errors.
Rancho Cotate is now 18-6-1 on the season. They will meet the winner of today’s game between No. 16 San Lorenzo and No. 1 Alhambra.
The loss was in Division 4, where No. 11 Cardinal Newman gave up two in the bottom of the seventh in a 5-4 loss to No. 6 Marin Catholic. Cardinal Newman, who finishes 9-12 on the season, had the lead despite only getting three hits.
It was a mixed bag in Division 4. The two NCL I teams that played, split.
No. 7 Clear Lake edged No. 10 Justin Siena 4-3 to raise its record to 19-5. The Cardinals will travel to No. 2 St. Patricks-St. Vincent on Friday.
No. 8 Lower Lake was shutout by No. 9 Berean Christian 5-0. They end the season 17-8.
This is the Wednesday Round One schedule
No. 11 Liberty (9-14) at No. 6 Santa Rosa (15-5)
No. 10 Dublin (15-7) at No. 7 Maria Carrillo (18-5)
No. 12 American (14-10) at No. 5 Petaluma (20-5)
DIVISION 3 (14 Teams)
No. 14 San Rafael (9-12) at No. 3 Analy (15-6)
No. 10 Sonoma Valley (13-10) vs. No. 7 Pinole Valley (9-15) at Ellerhorst Elementary
DIVISION 4 (14 Teams)
No. 13 McKinleyville (13-13) at No. Cloverdale (16-5)
No. 12 Middletown (12-8) vs. No. 5 Moreau Catholic (12-8) at Hayward Larry Standley Field
DIVISION 6 (2 Teams)
No. 2 CSD (5-13) at No. 1 Rincon Valley Christian (7-8)…
Yes, this is the championship game
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