By HOWARD SENZELL
FOR THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
Ukiah scored a run in the bottom of the seventh to edge Rancho Cotate, 4-3, on Tuesday and now holds a commanding lead in the North Bay League standings.
With the win, the Wildcats improved to 8-1 and they have a two-game lead on runner-up Maria Carrillo with five to play. Rancho drops to 5-3.
On Tuesday, Cat McCoy was the hero, as her single to the left side of the field scored pinch-runner Rylee Rickel for a walk-off run.
Rylie Loflin began the inning with a double off the bottom of the fence and then was replaced by Rickel.
“We control our destiny,” Ukiah coach Gary Venturi said. “If we win our last five league games, we’re the champs.
“This team deserves to be in this position. They never quit and always seem to rise to the occasion. It’s been somebody different coming through in every game.”
Winning pitcher Delaney Kindopp held Rancho scoreless through five innings, but the Cougars scored three in the sixth to make it 3-3. Taylor Del Santo knocked in two runs and Alexis Gumanday had the other RBI.
Rancho had a chance to take the lead in the seventh when Janaea Mason led-off with a double. However, Kindopp retired the next three batters.
McCoy had a pair of hits for Ukiah, as did Mykala Ramsey and Anna Brazil.
For the Cougars, Gumanday, Del Santo and Katie Rohrer each had two hits.
Overall, Ukiah is 15-4 and Rancho is 13-5.
SANTA ROSA 8, MARIA CARRILLO 0
At Santa Rosa, freshman Morgan Begley hit a grand slam in the fourth inning. The ball easily cleared the left field fence.
Johanna Peelen went the distance and struck out seven while not issuing a walk.
“This was absolutely our best game,” coach Jeff Pratt said. “It’s the first time we’ve played as a team.”
The Panthers banged out nine hits and took advantage of four errors by the Pumas.
Adri Begley went 3-for-4 while Luisa Ciaffa and Peelen had two hits each.
Amanda Walker had a pair of doubles for the Pumas while Shaelin Kidneigh and Randi McMahan had their other hits.
CARDINAL NEWMAN 4, WINDSOR 0
At Cardinal Newman, Lexie Raasch threw a three-hitter and struck out nine.
Newman scored three in the third with Emily Jaffe and Raasch coming up with the key singles. Both players had two-hit games.
Newman is 8-6 overall and 4-5 in league while Windsor is 7-12 and 1-8.
CASA GRANDE 5, MONTGOMERY 3
At Petaluma, Lisa Nadell and Kayleigh Hart had run-scoring doubles to lead the Gauchos.
Nadell knocked in two in the first inning and Hart’s hit in the third also brought two runners home.
Montgomery had the tying runs on base in the seventh. However, Brooke Hale pitched out of the jam and got the complete-game victory.
Her teammates, Alauna Rico and Alyssa Kurtis, had two hits each. For the Vikings, Ashley Baker, Sierra Shanoff and Jessica Valencia finished with two hits apiece.
PETALUMA 17, HEALDSBURG 6
At Healdsburg, Joelle Krist and Brie Gerhardt belted home runs.
Krist’s was a grand slam in the second and Gerhardt’s came in the third. Both were to left center field.
Petaluma, the SCL leader with an 8-0 mark, led 9-2 after three innings.
CLOVERDALE 5, LOWER LAKE 1
At Lower Lake, the Eagles maintained their lead in NCL I.
Monica Lemley led the offense with three hits and three RBI.
Cloverdale is 7-1 in league while the Trojans are 5-2.