Clear Lake pitcher shines in victory over St. Vincent

 

St. Vincent de Paul's Haley Antonini looks for the ball after Clear Lake's Coren English slides safely into third, during the game held at St. Vincent de Paul High School in Petaluma, Tuesday, March 18, 2014.   English was able to get up and run home during the play. (Crista Jeremiason / THE PRESS DEMOCRAT)

St. Vincent de Paul’s Haley Antonini looks for the ball after Clear Lake’s Coren English slides safely into third on Tuesday. English was able to get up and run home during the play.
(Crista Jeremiason / THE PRESS DEMOCRAT)

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By HOWARD SENZELL
FOR THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

PETALUMA — Clear Lake’s Rachel Wingler beat St. Vincent with her bat and arm here Tuesday afternoon.

The sophomore pounded out three hits (including a home run) and pitched a complete game as the undefeated Cardinals downed the Mustangs, 5-2, in a nonleague contest.

[PHOTO GALLERY: Check out more photos from Tuesday’s game]

And, Wingler accomplished everything wearing tennis shoes.

“My only softball shoes have metal cleats and the only cleats allowed on St. Vincent’s turf field are rubber ones,” Wingler said.

“So, I had to wear tennis shoes. It affected my pitching. The foot I plant with was sliding. So, I didn’t have my best stuff.”

On Tuesday, it was good enough as she allowed only five hits. The two runs she gave up scored in the fourth inning. Batting was also an adventure in tennis shoes.

Still, the right-hander came through with singles in the first and third before blasting her homer in the sixth.

“I couldn’t dig in at the plate but I got a fastball down the middle and got all of it,” she said of her long ball. “I knew when it left the bat that it was going to go over the fence.”

Clear Lake (3-0) got off to a quick start with two runs in the first on hits by Hannah Norwood, Aliza Atkins and Wingler.

The Cardinals added another in the fourth when pinch-runner Crystal Zepeda scored from first base on a single by Anessia Jack and a St. Vincent error.

The Lake County team added two more in the sixth, thanks to Wingler’s home run and a single by Jack.

St. Vincent’s uprising in the fourth began with Katelyn DelaMomtanya’s walk and Hannah Sarlatte’s single. Later in the inning, Mary Cerf laced an RBI single.

Sarlatte was the only Mustangs player with multiple hits. She also singled in the sixth.

St. Vincent had a chance to score more but faulty baserunning kept that from happening.

The home team welcomed back two girls from the basketball squad that was eliminated from CIF Tournament play last Saturday. Ursyla Baumgarten and Rainey Henry both came into the game in the fourth inning.

“They’re rusty and will need a few more practices to get their timing back on offense and defense,” coach Don Jensen said.

“We’ll be a much better team when those two are 100 percent.”

Last year’s team proved a slow start is nothing to be overly concerned about.

That group began the year 1-6 and wound up winning the North Coast Section Division 5 championship. They finished the season 17-8 after beating St. Bernard’s, 14-4, in the title game.

“Our defense has improved every game this season,” Jensen said. “Now, we need to work on getting the bats going and playing smarter.”
Clear Lake coach Gary Pickle is happy with his team.

“I like the way this group competes,” he said. “We only have one senior, so I think we’ll get better as the younger players get more experience.

“I thought Wingler did an outstanding job for having never played on turf and wearing tennis shoes.

“Also, our catcher Kelcie Reynolds was the settling force. She’s that way all the time.

“Aliza Atkins made several good plays at shortstop and Anessia Jack coming off the bench and getting two hits was big.”

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