On Thursday afternoon, St. Vincent de Paul won their eighth game in a row and were crowned the North Bay League - Redwood tournament champions as they defeated Ukiah 6-3.
“The girls totally deserve this, they’ve worked so hard all season,” St. Vincent de Paul head coach Morgan Selmi said. “It’s something that we’ve wanted all year, and we knew that it was reachable.”
St. Vincent de Paul and Ukiah are no strangers, as this was their fourth contest together of the season, with the Mustangs being victorious in three of the matchups.
In the bottom of the fourth inning with Ukiah in the lead 3-2, junior outfielder Sofia Romano smoked the ball over the tall left field fence to tie up the game, which was also the first home run of her high school career.
“I was really happy because that’s my first home run, it really made me pumped for the rest of the game and the season,” Romano said. “I could see on everyone’s faces that it really helped them get comfortable with the game."
Ukiah struggled offensively out of the gates. St. Vincent de Paul’s ace Sophia Skubic would retire the first three batters of the game. Per usual, Skubic pitched the entire game. She gave up three runs but none were earned, and only allowed six hits while striking out six batters. The Mustangs had a rare five error game in the field.
“It was a bit more stressful than I had anticipated, I got a little cocky in the beginning,” Skubic said. “I really had to do my part on the mound. As the game went on, I got a lot more comfortable with my team.”
St. Vincent de Paul came out swinging in the bottom of the first against Julia Maldonado. Senior infielder Maddie Badaglia recorded a base hit that would score senior catcher Maddy Delamontanya from second base. After reaching second base on the throw home, Badaglia would score another Mustang run thanks to the RBI single from Romano.
Maldonado also pitched the entire game, allowing six runs to be scored which were all earned, while only striking out two batters and giving up seven hits.
Ukiah would take the lead thanks to RBI hits recorded by Kali Garcia and Addy Jacobsen in the top of the second to go ahead 3-2.
For a few innings, Skubic and Maldonado were asserting their dominance in the circle, setting up an exciting finish.
Following Romano’s home run, sophomore infielder Izzy Badaglia would walk with the bases loaded to score a run and take the lead. Following this, Delamontanya would smoke a two-RBI double to give St. Vincent de Paul a 6-3 lead that they would never lose.
“Like I said last time, this team got better each game and each practice,” Ukiah head coach Arianna Bowers said. “I just wanted the girls to stay up and keep their energy up throughout the game.”
St. Vincent de Paul awaits their seeding for the North Coast Section playoffs. Since they are a league champion, they will host their first round game in Division 4.
As for Ukiah, they will sit and wait to see if they qualify for the playoffs. Currently, they are ranked No. 19 in the MaxPreps computer rankings in Division 2.