On the verge of a run-scoring outburst after a recent spell of stranding runners and dropping close decisions, the Sonoma Valley High School varsity softball girls put their bats in motion early and produced a hit parade that plated a whole lot of runs and created a momentum boost leading into the Sonoma County League season.

In their final nonleague game before opening SCL play against longtime rival Analy today in Sebastopol, the Lady Dragons erupted for three runs in the first inning, and added a half-dozen more in the bottom of the second, for a quick and daunting 9-0 lead over Cardinal Newman last Thursday at the high school field.

When the visiting Cardinals finally got on the scoreboard with two runs in the top of the fourth, and then added three more in the fifth frame to cut their deficit to 9-5, Sonoma’s girls answered with a four spot in the bottom of the fifth en route to a 13-6 victory.

With the benefit of welcome offense that racked up a dozen hits, Sonoma junior Hannah Herrick pitched five innings for the much-deserved win, as freshman Hayden Pearce took over the mound duties for the final two frames.

Leading the Lady Dragons on offense were senior Lindsey Rocha’s three-for-four, including a double, three RBIs and three runs scored; junior Autumn McElroy’s two-for-four, including a double, two RBIs and a run; senior Amber Rose’s two-for-four with two RBIs and a run; Pearce’s two-for-three, including a triple, an RBI and a run; senior Samantha Richards’ one-for-three with two RBIs and a run; Herrick’s one-for-four with two RBIs; senior Michelle Stovall’s one-for-three with three runs; and junior Shauny McVeigh’s two runs and frosh Katie Stovall’s one run.

After today’s league opener on the road, the Sonoma girls will host SCL foe Elsie Allen at 4 p.m. Thursday, March 27, on the high school field.

Also hosting on Thursday (March 27) will be the Dragon swim teams, who are coming off their spring break and will battle longtime SCL rival Analy in 4 p.m. dual meets at the Sonoma Aquatic Center pool.