Olivia Franceschi (No. 27) and Katelynn Tourady (No. 50)

Pair of aces – Starting pitchers for their respective softball teams this spring are Analy senior Olivia Franceschi (No. 27) and El Molino junior Katelynn Tourady (No. 50).

Softball season is underway for local high school teams, with Analy and El Molino already logging games on the pre-league circuit.

The Tigers are off to a quick 3-0 start under veteran coach Nick Houtz, having scored wins over El Molino (11-0), St. Vincent (1-0) and Piner (21-0).

The Lions, under coach Steve Newcomb, had logged just one game so far.

Tigers hit ground running

Analy hasn’t wasted any time this season, riding the strong arm of senior pitcher Olivia Franceschi in all three wins.

The hard-throwing ace got plenty of run support in the season opener against El Mo on April 1, firing five innings of one-hit ball while fanning 11 in a great debut. Top hitters for the Tigers were Franceschi (2 for 3, 2B, 3B, 2 runs, 2 RBIs), Cheyenne Reaney (2 for 3, 2 RBIs), Catlin Caughie (2 for 3, 2B, 2 runs) and Jordyn Schrag (2 for 3, 3B, 3 runs, 3 RBIs).

Katelynn Tourady and Peyton Hamner handled the pitching duties for El Mo, while Savanna Conwell collected the lone hit for the Lions.  

The Tigers were locked in a great pitcher’s duel in their April 6 clash with visiting St. Vincent, as Franceschi locked horns with Mustang ace Sophia Skubic.

Analy pushed across the lone run of the game in the first when Franceschi knocked in Elliot Gorath on an RBI single. Franceschi (7 IP, 3 hits, 13 Ks) took it from there in another great performance to preserve a 1-0 victory. Hitting safely for the Tigers were Franceschi (3 for 3, RBI), Kylee Bauman (1 for 2, 2B), Malley Dyck (1 for 3) and Gorath (1 for 2, run).

The Tigers had their hitting shoes on in an April 8 home date with Piner, jumping all over the Prospectors for 21 runs on 13 hits before the game was stopped after five due to the 10-run rule.

Franceschi notched her third victory, tossing five innings of three-hit ball while fanning 13. Leading hitters were Franceschi (3 for 4, 2B, HR, 3 runs, 2 RBIs), Reaney (2 for 4, run, 2 RBIs), Bauman (3 for 4, 2B, 3 runs, 2 RBIs) and Caughie (2 for 4, 2 runs). 

The Tigers (3-0) will wrap up pre-league action on Monday, April 12 in a non-league clash with visiting Petaluma, followed by the NBL home opener on Tuesday, April 13 against Maria Carrillo. Both games start at 4 p.m.

The Lions (0-1) were scheduled to visit Healdsburg on April 9 (after press time) and come home to host Ukiah on Thursday, April 15 (4 p.m.).             

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