Softball and baseball league tournaments for Empire schools got underway Tuesday, the results of which may carry weight in North Coast Section playoff seedings.
Four games were on the schedule Tuesday evening.
In Sonoma County League baseball, top seed Petaluma defeated No. 4 El Molino 10-0 at Arnold Field in Sonoma.
In North Bay League first-round softball games, No. 1 Montgomery beat No. 4 Ukiah 8-7 in an eight-inning game while No. 2 Rancho Cotate and No. 3 Casa Grande faced off in the other semifinal game.
SCL league winner Petaluma beat No. 4 Piner 11-1 at Analy. Games continue through Friday.
The NBL baseball tournament begins Wednesday with both first-round games.
Maria Carrillo, which finished second in the NBL, hopes to exact revenge on No. 3 Cardinal Newman after they split during the regular season — including Newman’s 17-2 shellacking of the Pumas last week.
“We had 11 wins in a row coming into that game and they put it to us pretty good,” Carrillo coach Sam Bruno said. “They lit up our ace pitcher and that hasn’t happened in a long time. It was an eye-opener.
“But we got another chance (Wednesday) and we’re really happy about that.”
No. 1 Casa Grande, which won the NBL with a 12-2 record, takes on No. 4 Rancho Cotate Wednesday in the other first-round game.
The two winners play Friday, likely at 4 p.m. at Santa Rosa Junior College.
Petaluma coach Jim Selvitella said the tournaments are important for bragging rights as well as a prelude to sectionals.
“It’s fun to play in this type of format. You get to play each other for a third time and the third game is usually something special,” he said. “Our ultimate goal is not to just win two games in the SCL tournament, but to go into the NCS with some momentum.”
No. 2 Piner and No. 3 Analy will be playing a deciding game as well, since they split their two games this regular season.
“It could go either way,” Piner coach Nick Green said. “It’s a good matchup. It’s kind of a grudge match.”
Analy is ranked ahead of Piner in the NCS seeding criteria, he said, so a win Wednesday would be big.
“We’re pretty close, so if we can pull this out, it may help us out in NCS,” Green said.
Lori A. Carter is at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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