ERIE — Count Sonoma Toot among those ecstatic that Erie’s final home game of the season became a two-for-one.
Especially after the way the unscheduled doubleheader worked out.
Because of the weather expected to move into the area overnight, Erie and Berthoud, which were supposed to end the regular season by playing Thursday and Friday, moved both games to Thursday at Erie.
Erie needed one win to clinch the Class 4A Tri-Valley League championship, and the Tigers did much better than that. After eking out a 4-2 victory in the opener, they pounded 20 hits in a 12-2 second-game triumph and finished league play unscathed in 14 games.
“It was kind of intense, because I realized it was happening twice,” said Toot, a senior second baseman, of her final regular-season appearance on her home diamond. “Then I had to focus on the game, and that’s the biggest part about senior day is you want to get the win. Then you worry about the celebratory stuff.”
Toot absolutely did her part in the regard. She crushed a solo home run — her first of the season — in the first inning of the opening game and added an RBI single in the third.
“The first game officially was our ‘home’ game, so it was a nice way to get it going for us,” Toot said.
Fellow senior Carrie Clarke pitched a complete game as the Tigers (16-2-1, 14-0) officially nailed down the league crown with the first win. But it wasn’t as if Erie had nothing to play for in Game 2. The Tigers still had the chance to finish league play unbeaten.
They played as if they still had a league crown to capture, blasting 20 hits including three homers. Freshman pitcher Rio Sanchez delivered the first round-tripper, a two-run shot in the fourth that hugged the left-field foul pole, and finished 3 for 3 with four RBIs. She also pitched a complete game to finish the regular season 6-0.
“Finally,” Sanchez said of her breakout day at the plate. “I feel like I was trying so hard that I was overdoing it. But as soon as (coach Bob Bledsoe) talked to me, I relaxed.”
Clarke and Katie Kovets hit back-to-back homers in the fifth. The trio of Clarke, Kovets and Sanchez finished the second game 8 for 11 with three homers and nine RBIs.
Afterwards, the Tigers honored their three seniors — Toot, Clarke and Sam Hutzley — in an on-field ceremony. Hutzley contributed a single and a run in Game 2.
“Their energy was to the sky,” Sanchez said. “It makes you want to go more and more and give it all you got, like ‘I’m going to do this for you guys.'”
Berthoud (14-5, 10-4) entered with a gaudy record but had trouble keeping pace with the Tigers — particularly in Game 2 when the bats seemingly never stopped.
“We got on them after the first game about being so impatient,” Bledsoe said. “We hit five or six over the fence that were way foul. They did a really good job adjusting in the second game.”
The Tigers bats appear ready for the postseason, which begins Oct. 12. In the doubleheader, the Tigers clobbered six doubles and four home runs.
Bledsoe also lauded Clarke and Sanchez for holding a high-scoring Spartans squad to two runs in each game.
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Erie 4, Berthoud 2 (Game 1)
At Erie H.S.
Berthoud (14-4,10-3) 100 010 0 — 2 7 2
Erie (15-2-1, 13-0) 202 000 X — 4 7 0
W — Clarke (6-1). L — L. Royer (7-1)
Berthoud hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Baker 3-2-3-0, Bending 3-0-0-0, L. Royer 1-0-0-0, Boruff 3-0-1-1, Villareal 2-0-1-1, Kouns 3-0-0-0, Armitage 2-0-1-0, Schuster 3-0-1-0, Kamakele 3-0-0-0. Totals 0-0-0-0. 2B — Boruff. SB — Baker, Armitage.
Erie hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Kudrna 2-1-1-0, Glaze 3-1-2-0, Toot 3-2-2-2-2, Maul 3-0-1-0, Clarke 3-0-0-0, Kovets 3-0-0-0, Sanchez 2-0-1-0, S. Foster 2-0-0-0, Hutzley 2-0-0-0. Totals 23-4-7-2. 2B — Glaze, Maul. HR — Toot (solo in 1st). SB — Kudrna.
Berthoud pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — L. Royer 6-7-4-3-1-2.
Erie pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Clarke 7-7-2-2-1-4.
Erie 12, Berthoud 2 (Game 2)
At Erie H.S.
Erie (16-2-1, 14-0) 020 222 4 — 12 20 1
Berthoud (14-5, 10-4) 000 011 0 — 2 9 0
W — Sanchez (6-0). L — Armitage (8-4)
Erie hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Kudrna 4-0-1-0, Natal 1-1-0-0, Glaze 4-0-1-0, Macias 1-1-1-0, Toot 4-1-1-1, Romey 1-1-1-0, Maul 3-1-1-0, M. Foster 1-0-0-0, Kovets 4-1-2-4, Fisher 1-0-1-1, Clarke 4-3-3-1, Bauchert 1-0-1-1, Sanchez 3-1-3-4, Wilson 1-0-0-0, S. Foster 3-0-1-0, Hutzley 1-1-1-0, VanLone 4-1-2-0. Totals 41-12-20-12. 2B — Kudrna, Sanchez, Clarke, Kovets. HR — Sanchez (one on in 4th), Clarke (solo in 5th), Kovets (solo in 5th).
Berthoud hitting (ab-r-h-rbi) — Baker 4-1-2-0, Kouns 4-0-1-0, Boruff 4-0-1-1, Villareal 3-0-1-0, Armitage 3-1-1-0, Schuster 3-0-2-0, L. Royer 3-0-1-1, Kamakele 3-0-0-0, T. Royer 3-0-0-0. Totals 30-2-9-2. 3B — Baker. SB — Kouns.
Erie pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Sanchez 7-9-2-2-0-6.
Berthoud pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) — Armitage 5.1-14-8-8-0-3, L. Royer 1.2-6-4-4-1-2L. .