The cheers coming from the South Tahoe softball team’s dugout sounded surprisingly upbeat despite being down 14-0 in the fifth inning of Wednesday’s game two of a doubleheader against Fernley.
Freshman pitcher Kendra Conard got the start for South Tahoe in game one’s 6-2 loss.
South Tahoe got on the board in the fourth inning with a leadoff triple by Kaila Griffis. Conard singled home Griffis to make it 4-1. Conard would steal second and third then score on a Fernley error cutting the lead to 4-2.
Fernley would add its final two runs in the fifth as Kelsie Callahan scored on a sacrifice bunt by Shandell Gemmel and Taylor Hires-Caulk scored on a wild pitch.
Fernley pitcher Taelyne Phillips retired the last six South Tahoe batters of the game.
“We did really well,” head coach Shawna Mayo said about game one. “We had one bad inning, but otherwise did really well. Our hitting is what killed us.”
In game 2, Conard started for the Vikings against Fernley’s Courtney Dunn.
“Conard was outstanding with the adversity of the blues. She kept her composure,” Mayo said.
Conard faced four batters in the first inning striking out one and allowing one hit.
South Tahoe’s Drue Chapman was the first to reach base on a walk after Bailey Barcellos grounded out to start the inning. Chapman was out on a fielder’s choice that allowed Griffis to reach. Conard, the next batter, grounded into another force play getting Griffis out at second to end the inning.
Fernley got on the board in the second inning. The first batter, Hires-Caulk, hit a single and would advance to third on a ground-out by Bryanna Ornelas.
Conard would walk the next batter, who then stole second putting runners at second and third. With two outs, Bailey Henderson would hit a two-run double. Henderson would score on another double that would push Fernley’s lead to 3-0.
In the fourth inning, Fernley would extend its lead to 9-0. Serena Olson hit a solo home run to start the inning. Callahan also added a two-run single.
Chapman led off the fourth with a double, but was left on-base when Griffis, Conard and Hannah Neiger each made outs to end the inning.
The fifth inning saw a pitching change as Neiger came in from center field to replace Conard.
Neiger faced nine batters in the inning allowing five runs including a two-run home run by Hires-Caulk.
The only South Tahoe batter to get on base in the fifth was Serenity Sanchez by a walk and the game ended with a 14-0 Fernley win.
“A mental and emotional breakdown,” said Mayo about game two. “A break-down of self-esteem. We have to work on developing ourselves this week and trusting our abilities.”
Mayo added that Chapman was a stand-out in both games making multiple running catches in left field and having at-bats.
The Lady Vikings record is now at 5-8 in the league and 6-11 overall. Fernley improves to 12-2 in league and 15-5 overall.
South Tahoe travels to Dayton on Tuesday for a conference game.