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June 20, 2024

Lady Greyhounds Don’t Go Quietly

Big inning in League softball playoff can’t be sustained

While the boys were toughing out their North Bay League Redwood playoff schedule, the girls softball team also made the league playoffs. They lost their last game of the regular season 11-0 against Piner, but their 4-7 Redwood division record qualified them for the four-team pennant playoff.

Softball pitcher
FOCUS Healdsburg senior Laurel Heaney was a fearsome pitcher to her opponents in 2024, going 8-7 and striking out 82.

They met the No. 1 seed, Ukiah, on May 8, and at first an upset seemed within reach. The Greyhounds jumped out to an early lead with five runs in the top of the first inning, as they dinged freshman starting pitcher Karis Jacobsen for five walks and three earned runs.

That forced Ukiah to bring in their ace, sophomore Kyla Cromer whose win-loss record is 9-2, with a 1.43 ERA. The final score of 12-5 reflects the impact Cromer had on the game, shutting down the Lady Greyhounds while the Wildcats ate away at the lead with one- and two-run innings, and a four-run fifth to put it away.

Healdsburg’s Laurel Heaney went the distance, pitching all six innings and giving up 14 hits and 12 runs, seven of them earned. Still, she ends her senior-year season with a winning record of 8 wins against 7 losses.

Despite their early exit from the league championship series (Ukiah went on to take the pennant with a 12-0 shutout over Piner), the Lady Greys also find themselves in the division tournament—Division 5 for the girls, which also includes Cloverdale, St. Vincent and Lower Lake among other schools.

First tournament game for the girls was against Redwood Christian of San Lorenzo on Tuesday, May 14. “We should have a good shot at getting a first round win if we play like we have been playing lately,” said coach Brian Osborn the day before the game. 

His cautious optimism, however, was not borne out. Redwood Christian easily defeated Healdsburg, 19-9, and they will advance to meet No. 1-ranked Clear Lake on Friday. 

The 2024 Healdsburg softball team ends its season with a 9-13 overall record, but coach Osborn promised good news with the forthcoming announcement of the NBL-Redwood all-league team.


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