NBL softball: Santa Rosa beats Windsor in 9 innings

CONNER JAY / The Press Democrat Santa Rosa's Briana Doane, who takes a throw to second base, started the Panthers' ninth-inning rally with a two-out walk.

CONNER JAY / The Press Democrat
Santa Rosa’s Briana Doane, who takes a throw to second base, started the Panthers’ ninth-inning rally with a two-out walk.

By HOWARD SENZELL
FOR THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

History repeated itself Tuesday at Santa Rosa High as the Panthers won another game in their last at-bat.

This time it took nine innings for the home team to eke out a 3-2 win over Windsor. A week earlier, the Panthers scored three in the bottom of the seventh to defeat Rancho Cotate, 8-7.

With help from the Windsor defense, the heroes were Jaeli Samonte and Briana Doane.

Doane started the two-out rally by coaxing a walk from losing pitcher Rachelle Butulia. Samonte then hit a single that was bobbled by the right fielder. That allowed Doane to reach third and she raced home when the throw to the infield was wild.

“When I was going into second, I was looking at my third base coach,” Doane said. “He was motioning me to keep going.

“Then I saw the overthrow to third and there wasn’t a fielder near the ball. I didn’t hesitate going home then.”

Doane scored without a play.

Samonte had been having a tough day at the plate until stroking the game winner.

“My first three times up, I struck out and grounded out twice to the second baseman,” the left fielder said. “I have trouble with inside pitches, so I decided to wait for something over the plate or outside.”

She got her wish and hit an outside pitch solidly to right field.

Shannon Pellman, Windsor’s first-year coach, said the game-ending play could’ve been avoided.

“My player didn’t throw to the cut-off,” he said. “Instead, she tried to throw all the way to third base. Had she hit the cut-off, the runner would’ve had to stay on third.

“We work on fundamentals every day and this game showed how important doing the little things can be.”

Santa Rosa won despite getting only four hits. Windsor had seven.

The Panthers opened the scoring with two runs in the sixth. The inning began with Megan Fassold reaching on an infield error. She came around on Alison Wendler’s double. Wendler would eventually score on a sacrifice fly by Natalie Vasquez.

The Jaguars finally broke through in the seventh when Sophia Cody doubled and scored on a home run by Becca Steiner.

Steiner led the Windsor offense with three hits. Stephany Del Greco had two.

Denia Vera went the distance for Santa Rosa and struck out 13. Three of those strikeouts came in the ninth inning. She didn’t walk a batter.

“She’s been carrying the team lately,” coach Jeff Pratt said. “Our other pitcher, Johanna Peelen, has a sore elbow.”

The Panthers have won four in a row and are 5-3 in the NBL and 12-5 overall.

Windsor drops to 9-7 and 3-4.

 

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