Christian Brothers junior strikeout ace Haley Snyder has been even tougher in Capital Valley Conference play.
In leading the No. 12 Falcons to wins over No. 18 Oakmont on April 5 and Rio Linda on April 10, she fanned 34 batters, 17 in each game.
Snyder also struck out 15, including 11 in a row, in a 2-0 win over No. 3 Elk Grove earlier last month. She has struck out 10 or more batters in 10 of her 14 starts.
But even when she isn't on her game, she's still tough to beat.
Last Friday against No. 13 Del Campo, Snyder allowed nine hits while the Falcons committed four errors. But Christian Brothers still prevailed 4-3 on sophomore Anissa Maldonado's walk-off single in the bottom of the seventh.
Snyder is 11-4 with an 0.31 ERA this season. She has struck out 164 batters in 91 innings and is hitting .488 with 13 RBIs.
With a verbal commitment to Stanford and a 4.71 grade-point average, she faces a big test today when the Falcons play host to No. 4 Casa Roble.
Getting their shots Woodcreek freshman Jacy Boles and Whitney sophomore Abi Brooks started the season pitching on their junior varsity teams.
Because of injuries, both have been thrust into key roles on the varsity.
With senior Lexi Wilkerson sidelined with a bad back, No. 2 Woodcreek called up Boles and she responded with complete-game victories over No. 5 Roseville (5-1) and No. 8 Del Oro (1-0) in Sierra Foothill League play.
On Friday, she was credited with a save in Woodcreek's 9-6 win over Granite Bay. She replaced struggling Amanda Horbasch in the third inning and allowed two runs and three hits.
Sixth-ranked Whitney lost ace Taylor Cotton (fractured finger) and backup Megan Mello (cracked patella bone) to injuries in a nonleague loss to Roseville on April 8, so Wildcats coach April Steele called up Brooks.
In her debut Thursday against No. 17 Cordova, Brooks pitched a three-hitter in leading the Wildcats to a 1-0 Capital Athletic League win. Brooks received big help from shortstop Kayli Shaw, who made three outstanding plays in the seventh inning to preserve the shutout.
Steele hopes Cotton, the Cal scholarship signee, can return in time for the Sac-Joaquin Section playoffs while Mello will have an MRI today.
Roseville tops Rocklin Kayla Fields did a little bit of everything in the Tigers' 4-2 win over top-ranked Rocklin last Friday in an SFL game that snapped the Thunder's 13-game winning streak.
Fields scattered six hits, struck out nine and walked one. At the plate, the University of South Dakota signee homered and drove in two runs.
The Tigers' win, combined with Woodcreek's triumph over Granite Bay, enabled the Timberwolves to take a half-game SFL lead over Rocklin entering today's showdown between the two powers in Rocklin.
Muscling up El Camino senior Catlyn Cavender and Oak Ridge senior Lauren Bertoy are effective long-ball threats.
Cavender has hit a section-leading 10 home runs in 65 at-bats; Bertoy, a Stanford scholarship signee, has eight in 61 at-bats.
Both also are pretty good on the basepaths. Cavender has 21 stolen bases in 22 attempts; Bertoy is a perfect 20 for 20.
What can Brown do? Dixon senior catcher Kristina Brown leads the section in batting average (.754), slugging percentage (1.410) and runs (37). But her most impressive stat is her section-leading 51 RBIs in 61 at-bats.
Dixon, which also includes standout pitcher Jenna Bassler, is 16-4 and in second place in the Golden Empire League behind No. 19 Marysville.
Call The Bee's Bill Paterson, (916) 326-5506.