Cloverdale nearing finish line in race for league pennant
It’s shaping up as a battle to the wire in the race for the NCL-1 softball crown, with the Lady Eagles still the team to beat with two weeks left in the regular season.  
At the start of play this week Cloverdale (10-1, 13-4) was a half game up on second place Clear Lake (9-1, 15-4), and two games ahead of third place Lower Lake (7-3, 15-5) with four dates remaining.
The Eagles will begin a final regular-season push with upcoming games at Fort Bragg (May, 6, after press time), home against Fortuna (May 7), and at St. Helena (May 9). The Eagles will host Clear Lake in the league finale next Tuesday, May 13.  All games start at 4 p.m.
Last week the ladies fell from the ranks of the league unbeaten with a 2-1 loss to Lower Lake, but bounced back with subsequent wins over Clear Lake (4-1), and Middletown (4-3).
The April 29 clash with visiting Lower Lake was a tense pitcher’s duel, as Cloverdale ace Teanne Edens locked horns with Trojan’s hurler Shelbie Harris in a great match-up.  Both teams pushed across solo runs in the second inning, and the score remained deadlocked at 1-1 through the first four frames.  
The game turned for the Trojans in the fifth when they capitalized on an Eagle’s fielding error to plate the go-ahead run, and Harris (7 IP, 4 hits, 10 Ks) made the lead stick the rest of the way in an eventual 2-1 Lower Lake victory.
Edens deserved a better fate, firing a complete-game five-hitter, yielding one earned run and one walk while fanning 10 to take the loss.  Hitting safely for the Eagles were Jordyn Turner (1 for 2, RBI), Hailey Donahoo (1 for 2), Kelsi Sibert (1 for 3, RBI), and Monica Lemley (1 for 3).
The ladies climbed back into the win column the next day in a critical meeting at Clear Lake, as Edens (7 IP, 1 hit, 1 BB, 0 ERs, 10 Ks) did the job with her arm and bat.  The Eagle’s ace slammed the door on the Cardinal’s hitters in a complete-game, one-hit gem and also ripped a pair of homers en route to a 4-1 win.  Edens (3 for 4, 2 HRs, 2 runs, 3 RBIs) led the hitting corps, while other top batters were Jasmin Orozco (2 for 3, RBI), Rignee DenBeste (1 for 2), Donahoo (1 for 3), and Lemley (1 for 4).
Cloverdale finished up a tough week with another close game against visiting Middletown.  The Mustangs plated a run in the first and another pair in the second for a 3-0 lead, but the Eagles would show their mettle with a late comeback. Down by three, Cloverdale pushed across two runs in both the fifth and sixth innings to give Edens (7 IP, 4 hits, 2 ERs, 11 Ks) just enough support to complete a 4-3 victory. Collecting one hit apiece were Lemley, Amy Mora, Orozco, Donahoo, and Celeste Gastineau. 

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