Whittell softball team beats Tonopah but loses to Battle Mountain | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Whittell softball team beats Tonopah but loses to Battle Mountain

Chad Sellmer, Tribune staff writer

There’s nothing like a league rivalry to get future generations of kids fired up about a sport.

That’s what is developing between Whittell and Battle Mountain on the softball field after the Longhorns knocked the Warriors out of state title contention for the second year in a row Saturday in the Northern Nevada 2A zone playoffs at Battle Mountain.

The Warriors won their first game of zone playoffs Friday, 15-5, over Tonopah in five innings.

“We played both offense and defense very well and we hit the ball well,” said Warriors manager Lindsay Wines. “We had a couple of errors and they were able to come back, but we were able to get the outs so I thought the defense played well.”

Whitney Gielow was 3 for 4 with a double, Sara Piccola was 1 for 4 with a double, Anna Kingman was 3 for 4 with two RBIs, Kaitlin Willens was 2 for 4 with one RBI and four runs scored and Jackie Laurian was 3 for 3 with two RBIs.

Sara Ingenluyff played right field in both games of the weekend for the first time all season.

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“Defensively, she had the play of the game for us when she came out of nowhere to catch a ball hit into the gap between center and right field,” Wines said.

She was 1 for 3 at bat with one RBI and Sasha Silver was 1 for 1 with her triple scored the game-winning run.

The Warriors faced Battle Mountain on Saturday, needing a win to advance to the zone playoff finals. Both teams in the finals advance to state. However, the Longhorns, which knocked Whittell out of the state tournament last year, earned a 6-0 win.

“The girls felt really good after (the Tonopah game),” Wines said. “We knew facing Battle Mountain in game 2 is what we would have to do and that it would be a very difficult game. Battle Mountain was the division winner. We had beaten them once earlier this year, but we knew we’d have to get past them to make the final game.

“Battle Mountain did not commit an error all day and that’s the kind of ball you have to play to win a big game like that,” she said. “We had a couple of key errors that were costly and that’s something you can’t do. We just didn’t get it done.”

Ashley Wines pitched both games for the Warriors. Against the Longhorns she had three solid innings before a couple of hits got the ball rolling.

Jessica Rickman was 2 for 3 and had a ball land just a couple of feet shy of a home run. Gielow was 1 for 3, Kingman 2 for 3 and Laurian was 1 for 3.

“The one hit (Laurian) got was a great at-bat,” Wines said. “She made the pitcher throw about 15 pitches and she kept fouling them off before finally getting her hit.”

Wines said the Warriors’ run at the state title this year was aided by real team spirit.

“The kids played with a lot of heart and there was a lot of emotion,” she said. “Even the girls who didn’t see a lot of playing time were really into the game. The dugout was phenomenal, with four or five girls consistently supportive of the team. I’m really proud of the kids. There weren’t too many dry eyes.”

Following the regular league season, several Warriors players were named to the Northern Nevada 2A All-Conference Team.

Kingman finished just one vote shy of winning player of the year honors. She made the first team with a .700 batting average, .837 fielding average, 16 extra base hits, one game with two home runs, a grand-slam homer, 27 RBIs and 22 runs scored. She lost out to Tana Gurule of Hawthorne for player of the year.

Sara Piccola was also a first-team selection. She had a .520 batting average, scored 18 runs, .857 fielding average, .880 on-base percentage and five RBIs.

Gielow was also on the first team with .571 batting average, .771 on-base percentage, .900 fielding average and was second on the team with 21 runs scored.

Ashley Wines earned first-team honors as the team’s pitcher in every inning of every league game this year for a 9-3 record. She had a .500 batting average, .818 on-base percentage, .769 fielding average, a 4.15 ERA and she struck out 41 batters over 34 innings while walking 21.

On the second team was Rickman, who had a .333 batting average, 12 RBIs, scored eight runs and had a .800 fielding average. Willens made honorable mention with a .385 batting average, .692 on-base percentage and .656 fielding average.

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