Big plays from Terry, Sullivan lift South Tahoe softball
South Tahoe High’s softball Vikings seemed determined not to let the sun set on a home loss on Tuesday, beating Hug 1-0 in a fast-paced defensive duel.
With both defenses dominating, the game took just more than an hour and a half to finish. The Vikings combined a handful of big plays with seven innings of near-flawless defense to even their Northern Nevada 4A record with Hug’s at 4-13. Stefanie Terry’s clutch, game-ending out made Emily Sullivan’s fourth-inning RBI single just enough for the Vikings to win their second home game on the Field of Dreams.
“I think there was a little bit of pressure to know that we have to play well to beat these guys,” said Terry, a junior. “We’re totally stoked about this. We’ve been waiting to win (here) forever.”
South Tahoe carried a 1-0 lead into the top of the seventh, when senior Missy Johnson stepped onto the mound in relief of Vanessa Porter. Johnson struck out Hug’s Alyssa Gomes before Johnson’s summer-club teammate, Lacey Scott, battled for a single. Johnson had the second out when catcher Jill Barna gunned out Gina Bisio at first on a bunt, but that advanced Scott to second, and a passed ball with Erika Singland at the plate moved the tying run to third. But the next batter, Hug pitcher Erika Singland, flied deep to center where Terry came up with the catch.
“I just judged the ball and wanted to get the out to win the game,” said Terry, who had moved to center from third just for the final inning.
That play – and Sullivan’s – were enough in a game where the teams combined for just nine hits and one error. Hug’s error – which turned Johnson’s fourth-inning double into a triple – set up the winning run.
“It’s just intensity: staying intense, being more intense than they were,” said Vikings skipper Rich Barna. “We obviously wanted it more, and there’s the difference right there.”
After Singland struck out Heather Roderick to lead off the fourth, Johnson hit a double and got to third on Jessica Theel’s throwing error. Terry walked to bring little-used Sullivan, the designated hitter, to the plate. Sullivan singled in Johnson to break the 0-0 tie, but was out after leaving first early with Jill Barna at the plate.
Still, defense and pitching made that one run enough. Porter (3-6) struck out just one batter, but gave up three hits, didn’t walk a batter and combined with her defense to retire Hug’s side four times. Johnson struck out one in one inning for the save.
Singland picked up the loss after seven innings of work. She struck out nine, but allowed five hits and walked two.
After dropping the first half of its doubleheader with Sparks at the Field of Dreams on Saturday, the Vikings picked up their first-ever win on the field in the second half, then won again Tuesday. The Vikings remain there for their next two games, Saturday’s doubleheader with McQueen (7-7 before Tuesday’s games). Rich Barna was confident his club can play with its guests on Saturday.
“Absolutely,” he said. “We can beat McQueen. I know we can because they’re in the same brackets we’re in as far as wins and losses.”
The Vikings and Lancers begin at 10 a.m. Saturday.
Lowry batters batter South Tahoe baseball
Lowry started Tuesday’s long trip back to Winnemucca, Nev., early after the Buckaroos baseball team bombed South Tahoe 18-4, ending the game in five innings.
Already up 1-0 in the first inning, the visiting Buckaroos put Vikings starter Jarred Uppendahl in trouble and put South Tahoe in a situation it couldn’t escape. Lowry loaded the bases on Uppendahl and hit a grand slam out of the middle of its batting order, putting South Tahoe down 5-0 before the Vikings even got to the plate.
“Before Uppie had a chance to get comfortable on the mound, we were down 5-0,” said Vikings manager Doug Russell, whose club dropped to 3-15 in Northern Nevada 4A play. “They jumped on us pretty quickly, and we didn’t have a chance to get back into it.”
Uppendahl lasted an inning and two thirds, allowing nine runs to drop to 1-3 as a starter. Dave Rodriguez recorded the win for Lowry, which improved to 8-10.
“You’ve got to take the bright spots out of a game like this,” Russell said. He pointed to Tim Sprinkles, busy all afternoon running down Lowry’s deep balls to center field, and shortstop Matt Connelly, who hit his first home run of the season, as two of those lights. With the game out of reach, Russell also had the opportunity to test Mike Hennessy and John Capitani at pitcher.
“That shows if you throw strikes, you can have success,” Russell said.
South Tahoe returns to action Saturday when Elko (4-13 before Tuesday’s games), a team South Tahoe beat for its first win of the season, visits for a 3:30 p.m. game. A doubleheader against visiting McQueen (11-6 Tuesday) follows, starting at 10 a.m. Saturday. After starting the year with a productive offense, South Tahoe has fallen into a four-game slump.
“It’s about time to be breaking out of that,” Russell said. “We showed signs of that today.”
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