NBL softball: Windsor blanks Santa Rosa 1-0

By HOWARD SENZELL
FOR THE PRESS DEMOCRAT

Catcher Angelica Terrel congratulates Rachelle Butulia on her complete game shutout. Windsor beat Santa Rosa on Thursday. (John Burgess / The Press Democrat)

Catcher Angelica Terrel congratulates Rachelle Butulia on her complete game shutout. Windsor beat Santa Rosa on Thursday. (John Burgess / The Press Democrat)

Rachelle Butulia hurled a shutout and scored the game’s only run as Windsor opened North Bay League play Thursday by defeating host Santa Rosa 1-0.

The right-hander crossed the plate with the run in the fourth after leading off the inning with a double. She came home on Ashlynn Wells’ single over the third baseman’s head.

“I got an outside pitch and just went to right field with it,” Butulia said. “When it left my bat, I felt it had a good chance of getting over the outfielder’s head.”

See photos from the game here

Butulia has been on a power surge the past week. She hit a pair of home runs last weekend when the Jaguars finished second in the Ukiah Tournament.

“My dad (Vern) has been working on hitting with me,” the senior said. “We concentrate on keeping my elbow in and then driving the ball. That’s been the big thing.”

When her team was in the field, Butulia scattered eight hits and came up with big pitches when the Panthers had runners on base.

In the sixth, Santa Rosa got the first two hitters on and then Butulia retired the side with two pop-ups on the infield and a fly ball to right.

The Panthers also threatened in the seventh inning, getting runners on first and second with one out. Again, Butulia was up to the task as she got the last two outs on ground balls.

“My change-up and rise ball were working and I stayed with those pitches,” she said. “I was hitting my spots, which is so important.

“I felt confident after we scored the one run that it would be enough because our defense was playing so well.”

The Jaguars made only one error.

Shortstop Aleecia Huerta and third baseman Kaleo Pearl were both solid in the field.

Windsor coach Shannon Pellman was quick to praise his defense.

“Whether we’re successful or not tends to boil down to how we play on defense,” he said. “When we play solid defense, we tend to win.”

The Jaguars, who are now 8-2, had two players with multiple hits. Freshman Shaylynn Mendoza had three in four plate appearances and first baseman Wells went two for three.

Santa Rosa coach Jeff Pratt was disappointed with his team.

“We didn’t play like we should on offense,” he said. “We swung at some pitches out of the strike zone at crucial points in the game.”

Denia Vera started and took the loss, although she was sharp going the first four innings. The senior struck out eight before giving way to Johanna Peelen.

Megan Fassold led the Panthers’ hitting attack with three hits, including a double.

Santa Rosa, 2-1 overall, can’t dwell on the narrow loss. Today, the Panthers will be in Antioch for a two-day tournament.

Windsor, now 5-0 away from home, will host Casa Grande next Tuesday.

Comments are closed.