Lady Dragons rally, win Ukiah Tourney title, Gaarder MVP, Vail, Rose, Richards all-tourney
Sophomore Zoe Gaarder earned MVP honors after pitching the Lady Dragons to the Ukiah Tournament title last weekend.
Rallying behind the solid pitching of sophomore Zoe Gaarder, the Sonoma Valley High School young varsity softball girls used a dramatic title-game ending to capture the Ukiah Tournament championship last Saturday.
Down 3-0 early in the title contest to host Ukiah, the Lady Dragons came back to tie the game 4-4 in the sixth inning on freshman Amber Rose’s home run.
Sonoma then prevailed in the tight battle with the Wildcat girls by loading the bases in the bottom of the seventh and claiming the tourney crown when sophomore Ashley Vail was hit by a pitch and sophomore Kendall Ashe crossed the plate with the decisive run in a 5-4 victory.
Gaarder was named the Ukiah Tournament’s most valuable player with two standout pitching wins for the Lady Dragons, while teammates Vail, Rose and frosh Samantha Richards earned all-tourney honors.
Rounding out Sonoma’s roster – directed by head coach Dean Merrill and assistant coaches Marc Ray and Wally Reis – are lone senior Mia Stornetta; juniors Megan McNeilly, Anna Stewart and Lindsay Stewart; sophomores Riley Ellis-Reis, Juliana Gutierrez and Tali Soroker; and frosh Lindsey Rocha.
Leading the Lady Dragons past Ukiah in the championship game were Vail’s two-for-three, including a double and RBI; Ashe’s two-for-three; Rose’s homer and RBI; Soroker’s single and RBI; Rocha’s triple; Richards’ double; and McNeilly’s single.
In the tourney opener, the Sonoma girls handed Clear Lake its first loss of the season with a 9-0 shutout win behind Gaarder’s five-hitter with seven strikeouts and no walks; Ellis-Reis’ three-for-three; Richards’ and Rose’s two-for-four with two RBIs each; Rocha’s two-for-four; Soroker’s single and RBI; and Stornetta’s and Vail’s single apiece.
The Lady Dragons defeated Sonoma County League rival Windsor 10-2 in second-round action, led by winning pitcher McNeilly’s six-hitter with eight strikeouts and two walks; Rose’s two-for-three with two RBIs; Richards’ two-for-two with an RBI; Vail’s two-for-four with an RBI; Anna Stewart’s single and RBI; and Ellis-Reis’ and Rocha’s single each.