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Empire notebook: Rancho Cotate softball firepower set to return

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The Rancho Cotate High softball team may have been upset in the quarterfinals of the Division 2 North Coast Section playoffs, but it wasn’t for lack of bat power all season.

And unfortunately for their rivals, a lot of their offensive power will be returning next season.

The Cougars, who went 21-4 overall and 9-1 to win the North Bay League-Oak Division, were led by sophomore Tatum Maytorena and her .435 average on the season.

Just behind her was freshman Tiare Guerrero at .434. Senior Talia Guerrero hit .353, senior Makayla Barnes hit .346 and junior Kaylee Drake hit .329.

Cardinals keep bats, too

The Cardinal Newman Cardinals, too, had some offensive weapons to gloat about this season.

The Cardinals went 20-5 overall and 10-0 in the North Bay League-Redwood Division to earn the No. 3 seed in the Division 4 NCS playoffs but fell to the No. 2 McKinleyville Panthers in the semifinals. And they, like the Cougars of Rancho, should return a lot of their firepower next season.

Junior Erin Schnabel hit .570 and junior Haley Titone hit .565 through the season. Sophomore Annalise Talafili hit .561, senior Makayla McCormick hit .459 and Tara Bowman hit .453.

That’s a lot of runs

If that Laytonville versus Valley Christian softball score — Laytonville beat Valley Christian 24-23 in the North Coast Section Division 6 semifinals May 22 — surprised anyone, a closer looks shows it was perhaps not too out of the ordinary.

The Warriors, after all, had gone 9-5 overall and 6-0 to win the North Central III title, and they did it by scoring runs — a lot of them. The Warriors averaged more than 14 runs per game this season.

The Vikings, for their part, averaged slightly more than 12 runs per game.

Trojans moving on

Courtesy of the Petaluma Argus Courier, this is the list of Petaluma grads who are set to continue their athletic careers in college: Nick Siembieda to play football at UC Davis, Cole Powers to play football at Cal Poly, Indya Smith to play softball at St. Mary’s, Jack Gallagher to play baseball at Chico State, Jade Krist to play volleyball at Sonoma State, Hannah Dillingham to play volleyball at UC Merced, Robbie Isetta to play basketball at Holy Cross College in Notre Dame, Indiana, and Connor Gors to play tennis at Hope International University in Fullerton.

Cal in NCAA tourney

Cal baseball, led by Maria Carrillo grad and last year’s Golden Spikes Award winner Andrew Vaughn, has made the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2015.

The Golden Bears, whose roster also includes local Hance Smith of Casa Grande and SRJC, are slated to play TCU at 4 p.m. Friday in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

ASU makes NCAA field

Also back in the tournament are the Arizona State Sun Devils and Casa Grande grad Spencer Torkelson. The Sun Devils meet Southern Mississippi at 10 a.m. Friday in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Big crowd at state track

The area athletes who competed in the CIF state track and field championships at Buchanan High School in Clovis Friday and Saturday did it in front of quite a crowd. CIF officials put the two-day attendance total at 18,021.

Trask to be a Viking

Middletown senior Bryson Trask, the new owner of the Redwood Empire discus record after he tossed it 181 feet, 10 inches at the CIF state track and field championships in Clovis over the weekend, is set to compete for the Diablo Valley College Vikings next year.

Seawolves finish 18th

The Sonoma State men’s golf team finished 18th out of 20 teams in the NCAA Division II Golf Championships at The Resort at Glade Springs in Daniels, West Virginia on May 20.

It marked the first NCAA tournament appearance for the Seawolves since 2015, when they finished 15th. The team was led by Devin Gregg, a junior who prepped at Drake High in San Anselmo, who shot a 75 in the final round and was two over at the conclusion of all three rounds.

It’s summertime!

This is the final installment of the Empire Notebook for the current school year. We’ll be back for the 2019-20 school year and of course feature all of the best bits and odds and ends from prep sports around the Redwood Empire.

See you in August.

You can reach staff columnist Kerry Benefield at 707-526-8671 or kerry.benefield@pressdemocrat.com, on Twitter @benefield and on Instagram at kerry.benefield. Podcasting on iTunes and SoundCloud, “Overtime with Kerry Benefield.”

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