Lady Vikings softball sweeps rival Wolverines
SPARKS, Nev. — The South Tahoe softball team returned to the win column last weekend with a three-game sweep of rival Truckee.
The Vikings opened the series on Thursday in Carson City, and rolled to a 15-1 victory, which snapped a two-game skid for the team.
South Tahoe sophomore Campbell Mathews led the Vikings with a 4-for-4 performance at the plate, including a pair of doubles and four RBIs. Junior Joylin Mendez had a pair of singles and a double in the game. Senior Kiva Davis hit a homerun and a triple as part of three hits. Senior Breanna Wible also hit a triple and drove in a pair of runs.
South Tahoe won the game after five innings of play due to the 10-run mercy rule.
The teams then traveled to Sparks for a doubleheader the following day. The Vikings rolled to a 17-2 win after three innings of action due to the 15-run mercy rule. Davis again hit a homerun and a triple. Wible led the team with three hits, including a triple, and also drove in a pair of runs. Senior Amber Burdick hit a double and a triple. Junior Addie Menkie also hit a triple.
The Wolverines had their best performance of the series during Friday’s finale. Truckee jumped out to a three-run lead, but South Tahoe responded with five runs in the bottom of the first and 10 runs in the bottom of the second inning. From there, the Vikings would add seven more runs during the next two innings to claim a 22-7 victory via the 15-run mercy rule.
Burdick led the team with a homerun and a triple as part of four hits during the game. She also drove in a team-high three runs.
Mathews also hit a homerun for the Vikings as part of three hits and a pair of RBIs. Davis finished with three hits including a double. Wible also had three hits. Sophomore Angelina Rojas, and junior Joylin Mendez combined for four hits and four RBIs.
South Tahoe (7-6) will face Dayton (5-10) in a doubleheader on Tuesday at Dayton High School due to the Vikings’ field still being covered in snow. The series will get underway at 2 p.m.
South Tahoe has yet to see playing time at their home field this season. The team has managed to get by on holding practices in the school gym and the tutelage Head Coach Alan Burt.
“You’ve got to come up with something different because you can’t do the same drills all the time,” said Burt. “I’m searching back through 22 years of coaching and just going, ‘Hey, what can I do?'”
With four senior players on the team, Burt has relied on a strong group of sophomores and freshman to help round out the team’s lineup. The quick jump to varsity has also given the team’s underclassmen more chances to play and gain experience as many programs in Class 3A struggle to field junior varsity teams.
“Our freshmen program is great,” he said. “They’ve been playing on varsity, getting hits, and making plays.”
Additionally, a shortage of bus drivers in the area has left members of the team waiting at fields like the one at Golden Eagle Regional Park in Sparks for hours after games have concluded. Burt said the team has been dropped off for a game, and then that bus driver has had to return to South Tahoe for their normal duties of taking students home from school. A driver would then have to return to the game site to pick up the team.
In the case of Friday’s game, the remaining players not taken home by their parents along with Burt were expecting to be picked up at 6:45 p.m. Their doubleheader against Truckee concluded a little after 3 p.m. Burt said on one occasion the team was forgotten about by the driver charged with picking them up, causing even further delays in returning home to South Tahoe.
Still, the Vikings coach takes pride in a squad he says are nearly all straight-A students despite the challenges that have come with a season in which the team has only played road games.
“We have some amazing girls,” he said.
The Vikings will close out the week with a key three-game series against the Class 3A Northern – West League leaders North Valleys (13-1).
Justin Scacco is a reporter for the Sierra Sun, a sister publication of the Tribune.
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