By HOWARD SENZELL
FOR THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
Clear Lake played like the No. 1 seed in NCS Division 5 Saturday as the Cardinals walloped visiting Valley Christian, 18-0, in a game shortened to 4½ innings.
Clear Lake had 16 hits and scored more than two runs in every inning.
The Cardinals put the game away by scoring seven in the second. Winning pitcher Rachel Wingler and Destiny Garcia both had doubles in the inning.
Wingler was perfect in four trips to the plate and had four RBIs. Garcia wound up 3-for-4 while Alicia Ledezma knocked in four runs while going 2-for-3.
Wingler allowed only one hit, a clean single by Paige Sellick in the fourth.
“We hit the ball hard and put a lot of pressure on their defense,” winning coach Gary Pickle said. “We just kept the line moving up and down the lineup.”
Clear Lake had a bye in the opening round and is now 18-6.
In the semifinal round on Tuesday, the Cardinals will host St. Vincent. The No. 5 Mustangs advanced by defeating College Prep and Calistoga in the opening rounds.
LAYTONVILLE 17, RINCON VALLEY CHRISTIAN 11
At Laytonville, the Warriors became the first girls team in school history to win an NCS title.
The victory gave Laytonville the Division 6 championship.
“It’s a thrill,” Laytonville coach Michael Braught said. “The girls played hard all year and this is the reward.”
It was 9-9 after three innings when Laytonville scored four in the fourth inning to take the lead for good. Hailey Finnegan’s double was the key hit.
Cassie Homer pitched a complete game and got the victory. The freshman also led the team with her bat. She was perfect in three plate appearances and scored three runs.
Emma Braught, the coach’s daughter, is the only senior on the team, while 11 players on the roster are freshmen.
“This is my 19th year coaching,” Braught said. “Hopefully, with such a young team, we’ve started something here.”
Laytonville, champions of NCL III, complete the season with a 13-9 mark.
Losing pitcher Jackie Peterson scored three runs while going 1-for-4. Rincon Valley Christian winds up play with a 9-12 mark.
BEREAN CHRISTIAN 10, CLOVERDALE 1
At Cloverdale, the Walnut Creek school avenged an early season defeat and eliminated the home team from the Division 4 bracket.
In a trip to Cloverdale on March 21, Berean Christian lost 10-9 in nine innings. That was in the finals of the Cloverdale Tournament.
On Saturday, the visitors scored in five of seven innings, including three runs in both the third and seventh.
Cloverdale’s lone run came in the sixth.
“We came out flat and nothing went right,” Cloverdale coach Margaret Fitzgerald said. “We’ve been playing so well, it’s very disappointing.”
Cloverdale only had three hits (Monica Lemley, Josie Marrufo and Celeste Gastineau) and committed five errors.
Berean played error-free and touched up losing pitcher Teanne Edens for 10 hits.
Cloverdale, the NCL I champions, end the season with a 20-5 record.
“We had a great year,” Fitzgerald said. “We have a lot of juniors who will be back and hopefully we’ll get past this hump next year.”
Cloverdale was the No. 4 seed and Berean Christian was No. 5.