The league races are only a week in, but in only the second game of the North Bay League Softball race, there is a huge game on Tuesday. That will be when No.2 Maria Carrillo plays host to No. 5 Rancho Cotate. It matches the defending NBL Softball Champion and an NBL Softball Dynasty.
Maria Carrillo is the defending champion. It is one of the few years over the past decade that Rancho Cotate isn’t. Rancho Cotate has won seven of the last ten NBL titles.
Last year when these two teams met at Maria Carrillo in the second half of the race, the two teams were tied for first and Rancho Cotate was three outs away from taking control of another NBL championship having a 3-1 lead going into the bottom of the seventh. Maria Carrillo then scored three runs, all with two outs, to take a 4-3 win. It gave Maria Carrillo sole possession of first place, which they kept the rest of the way.
This is between two teams that are expected to be a big part of the 2014 North Bay League Softball race. No matter what happens, there will be a lot of race after this game. An example of that is last year. Like this year, the two teams met in the second league game and Rancho Cotate won that game 10-1, which turned out to be Maria Carrillo’s only league loss.
Rancho Cotate might be a little undervalued at No. 5. Until last week they had didn’t have much of a chance to show off playing three games, while some other teams played twice as many. Last week they doubled that number and the only blemish on the record is an opening game 3-3 tie with American Canyon.
Maria Carrillo is 7-3, the three losses to teams with a combined record of 21-6. Both teams do have one common opponent and that is Napa who handed Maria Carrillo one of its losses 2-1 last week. Rancho Cotate defeated Napa 4-2 on March 6th its second game of the season.
The pitching matchup is between two girls on the opposite ends of the high school life. Rancho Cotate goes with Brittney Scardina, who is a freshman and has pitched every inning this season giving up five earned runs in six games.
The starter for Maria Carrillo is Senior Robin Johnson is 6-2 with an ERA of 1.11. She was the winning pitcher in the dramatic game last year.
It appears that this preview could be pre-mature with the way the weather looks. After a week of, for the most part, getting the games in despite what has to be called a rainy week, it looks like things are going to catch up with everybody on Tuesday. Except for NBL Baseball, every other baseball and softball leagues have games scheduled. It looks like the scramble to reschedule will begin.
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