On a pleasant spring-like late-winter Saturday, the Sonoma Valley High School varsity baseball boys battled one, and the softball girls two, tough East Bay teams at home and on the road, respectively, and couldn’t snare a win in either of the three nonleague games.
After two nonleague losses, the Dragon boys hoped to back up their first win of the preseason, beating Drake last Wednesday, with a second straight home victory, though they were facing a formidable East Bay foe at Arnold Field.
After Pinole Valley was quickly retired in the first by starting senior pitcher Mitch Hood, the Dragons got a quick break with an error opening a scoring opportunity that netted one run – with another possible run erased by a picked-off runner – with junior CJ Vitale singling and scoring on sophomore MacLean Meyn’s RBI double.
But Sonoma’s 1-0 lead was short-lived when, in the top of the second inning, the visiting Spartans tallied four runs on four hits, with one of them being a stinging three-run homer deep to left field, to take a 4-1 lead.
While Hood overcame the second-inning blitz to hold Pinole Valley to those four runs over the next four innings, the Dragons could muster just one more run over the same stretch and ended up with a 7-3 loss.
Still lacking offensive punch, Sonoma was paced by Mehn’s double and RBI; Vitale’s single and run scored; senior Vinny Albano’s single; and juniors Kyle Dunevent and Graham Herder’s run each.
The Dragons host nonleague Maria Carrillo at 6:30 p.m. today.
After opening their season with a runaway rout at Novato, Sonoma’s young softball girls – including four seniors, three juniors and six freshmen – traveled to Pinole on Saturday for challenging back-to-back games against two strong East Bay teams and returned home with a pair of hard-fought defeats.
Facing North Coast Section Division-4 champion Salesian, the Lady Dragons were held to just a single by senior Lindsey Rocha in a 7-2 loss, with their lone two runs scored by juniors Hannah Herrick and Shauny McVeigh.
Then the Sonoma girls played perennial NCS qualifier Pinole Valley and, though they got their offense untracked, they couldn’t slow down the Spartans and ended up dropping a 10-5 decision.
Pacing the Lady Dragons were frosh Madeline Lentini’s two-for-four, including a double, one RBI and a run; senior Amber Rose’s double, single and two runs; senior Michelle Stovall’s two-for-three and a run; Herrick’s double, three RBIs and a run; and McVeigh’s single and RBI.
Rounding out Sonoma’s varsity softball roster – directed by head coach Dean Merrill and assistant coaches Marc Ray and Marty Herrick – are senior Samantha Richards; junior Sierra Lilly; and frosh Bella Fanucchi, Malena Mackey, Hayden Pearce, Lena Mallet and Katie Stovall.
The Lady Dragons play perennially tough Maria Carrillo in Rincon Valley tomorrow, Wednesday, March 12, then host another good East Bay team, Encinal, in their home opener at 4 p.m. Friday, March 14, at the high school field.