NCS softball playoffs: Thomsen’s shutout gem lifts Petaluma over San Lorenzo

By PETER FOURNIER
FOR THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

Petaluma High softball pitcher Dana Thomsen always brings the American flag in from the center field scoreboard after each Trojans’ softball game. She just has to do it.

So after the senior finished a 15-strikeout, five-hit 7-0 shutout of San Lorenzo in the first round of the North Coast Section Division 2 playoffs Wednesday afternoon, the Stars and Stripes weren’t being brought in with anyone else’s hands.

“I never let anyone else touch the flag,” Thomsen said. “That’s my thing. I always grab the flag after. I’m very superstitious and if anyone touches the flag, I feel like everything’s off.”

The Trojans senior was tuned in, striking out the side in the first and fifth innings and working out of jams in the second and third.

Back-to-back singles sparked a short-lived two-out Rebels’ rally in the second, as Thomsen was able to strikeout Jasmine Carbajal on three pitches to end the threat. Thomsen had to work a little harder to get out of the third without allowing a run. A walk and a single put two San Lorenzo runners on, and a sacrifice bunt put them into scoring position.

“Once the runner got on third, I kind of just knew we’ll get the out,” she said. “I trust my team. You can’t play with just one player. So I couldn’t do anything.”

Thomsen then battled her San Lorenzo counterpart, Brenna Lopez, to a full count before getting her to strike out swinging and then forcing Dakota Targett to ground out to second base on the very next pitch to end the frame.

“I couldn’t have gotten any of those girls out without my team,” Thomsen said.

Petaluma softball coach Kurt Jastrow singled out Thomsen’s shutdown ability.

“The key with Dana — and the key with all kinds of good softball pitchers — is when you need a strikeout, she can get you one,” he said.

“They put the ball in play, they might score there, but she can get you a strikeout. She’s that good.”

Thomsen helped her own cause by driving in a run with a single during the Trojans’ four-run two-out rally in the second inning.

Her base hit was preceded by Bri Gerhardt’s RBI single and was followed by Kathy Biggs’ two-run double. The Trojans tacked on three more runs in the bottom of the sixth inning.

Jastrow said there was room for improvement, but it wasn’t anything he didn’t expect to workout in practice.

“I thought we were a little flat,” he said.

“It’s the first game. It’s a long season. I thought for a first game it was OK.”

Petaluma has to win three more games to claim the NCS title.

“We always say (before the playoffs) it’s a four-game season,” Jastrow said. “We just got by the first game, that’s all. We haven’t accomplished anything yet. “

Thomsen may know that fact the best.

“Knowing it was NCS and single-round elimination, I just wanted to nail them down from the get-go because it’s my senior year,” she said. “I get one shot left.”

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