By HOWARD SENZELL
FOR THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
Maria Carrillo, needing a win in Thursday’s regular season finale to qualify for next week’s NBL tournament, got just that as the Pumas defeated visiting Cardinal Newman, 8-1.
The victory improved Carrillo’s record to 8-6 in league, good enough to make the playoffs.
The Pumas will visit league champions Ukiah on Tuesday, while No. 2 Rancho Cotate entertains No. 3 Montgomery. Carrillo and the Vikings tied for third, but the tiebreaker (least runs allowed) gave Montgomery the edge.
On Thursday, the Pumas benefited from five Newman errors. Cardinals coach Jerry Briggs said it was the worst game his team has played.
“We had a total meltdown,” he said. “A good-hitting team like Carrillo will make you pay and they did.”
Carrillo banged out nine hits, led by Hannah Chew, Shaelin Kidneigh and Randi McMahon with two each.
For Newman, Emily Jaffe finished with three hits.
UKIAH 7, WINDSOR 4
At Windsor, the Wildcats won their 16th game in a row.
Ukiah started quickly with two runs in the first. Mykala Ramsey legged out a triple and was followed by Rylie Loflin’s double and a three-bagger by Anna Brazil.
Ramsey wound up with a 4-for-4 game.
Windsor scored all its runs in the last two innings.
“It wasn’t perfect but we got it done,” Ukiah coach Gary Venturi said.
MONTGOMERY 4, SANTA ROSA 2
At Santa Rosa, Jaxen Brazell was the hero.
The sophomore knocked in two runs in the top of the seventh inning to provide the margin of victory.
“It was a nail-biter,” winning coach Mike Malvino said. “Brazell’s hit came after a nine-pitch at-bat.”
Earlier in the inning, Kiana Heard reached on a walk and Anna Zoia-Buescher got on with a bunt.
Brazell’s single was up the middle.
Montgomery only had three hits, but four Santa Rosa errors led to all the Vikings’ runs.
Montgomery played error-free.
The Panthers’ offense consisted of two hits apiece by Megan Fassold, Briana Ririe and Luisa Ciaffi.
ANALY 12, ELSIE ALLEN 1
At Sebastopol, Kaitlyn Hager tossed a two-hitter in a game shortened to five innings.
The Tigers built a big lead by scoring eight runs in the fourth inning.
Analy had 12 hits in its four at-bats. Leading the offense with two apiece were Mijia Sheridan, Katie Morita, Stacey Ottolini and Jillian Halpin.