PD Preps Insider: Pumas shine on the diamond

Maria Carrillo second baseman Andrew Vaughn makes a throw to first base after tagging out Cardinal Newman's Jeff Rebello during Saturday's game. (ALVIN JORNADA / The Press Democrat)

Maria Carrillo second baseman Andrew Vaughn makes a throw to first base after forcing out Cardinal Newman’s Jeff Rebello during Saturday’s game. (ALVIN JORNADA / The Press Democrat)

This past weekend was an outstanding one on the diamond for Maria Carrillo. Saturday, the softball squad captured the Ukiah Tournament, while the boys came home with the trophy from the Adam Westcott Invitational at Casa Grande.

The Pumas also garnered their share of individual honors.

At Ukiah, shortstop Brittney Veler was selected most valuable player while pitcher Robin Johnson, catcher Hannah Chew and right fielder Randi McMahan made the all-tournament team.

Following the Westcott, Andrew Vaughn was selected top hitter. Making the all-tourney team were Austin Martinez, Keith Wallach, Peter Hoge and Jo Bynum.

Both teams finished 3-0 and head into NBL play with momentum.

“I’m pretty confident about our chances in league,” softball coach Lonnie Harwell said. “Our hitting has been solid and we just have to tighten up a couple of things on defense.”

Baseball coach Derek DeBenedetti is also feeling good about his team.

“I believe we’ve come together as a team,” he said. “We wanted to get battle-tested in the tournament and we were.”

The baseball team will carry a 6-2 record into league play while the softball squad is 6-3.

Perez on tour

Windsor High’s North Coast Section champion, senior Perez Perez, will be in Iowa to compete in a national tournament and visit colleges interested in having him wrestle for them beginning next fall.

Perez won the NCS title at 115 pounds, but the lowest weight category in college wrestling is 125 pounds. “Perez will have to add a lot of muscle and weight to add those 10 pounds,” said Windsor coach Rich Carnation. “It might be worthwhile for him to gray-shirt next year (take fewer than six college credits), so that he can add the muscle, train and still come back a year from now with four years of eligibility remaining.”

Baseball showdowns

Bragging rights atop the world of Empire baseball could be at stake this week when Maria Carrillo (6-2), Windsor (7-1) and Casa Grande (7-2) meet.

Carrillo won the Adam Westcott Tournament and opens today at Casa Grande at 4 p.m. in North Bay League action. Casa is coming off two consecutive losses and has Windsor at home on Friday after the Carrillo game.

Petaluma softball hot

Power-hitting Petaluma is off to a strong start in prep softball.

Scoring more than 10 runs a game, Petaluma is 5-1 heading into Sonoma County League play.

If the Trojans’ young pitchers continue shutting down opponents, Petaluma could go undefeated again in league play. Petaluma’s last SCL loss was in April 2012, to Windsor, now in the North Bay League.

Leading the Trojans at the plate is Brie Gerhardt, batting over .600 and tops in hits. Meghan DeCoite hits over .500 and is second in hits. The top power hitter is Joelle Krist, with 14 RBIs on nine hits including four home runs.

Sharing pitching duties are freshman Emily O’Keefe and sophomore Sarah Moore.

Michael Coit, Ted Sillanpaa and Howard Senzell contributed to this report.

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