South Tahoe softball takes 2 wins in series against Truckee
Finally on its home turf for some games, the South Tahoe softball team hosted the Truckee Wolverines in a double-header Wednesday, April 5. Due to inclement weather being expected, the games were moved up from April 7. The final game of the series will be made up later in the month.
The Vikings were able to turn the home field advantage into double digit wins in both games. South Tahoe won 10-0 in game one and 12-2 in game two, with both being called in the fifth inning after South Tahoe had secured a 10-run lead.
“The girls are putting the ball in play,” said head coach Eric Owens. “That’s all you want to do. Once you put the ball in play, it gets contagious.”
Game one had the usual suspects getting the Vikings on the scoreboard. The team had several players batting 1.000 for the game, relentlessly pounding Truckee’s defense with multiple runs each inning. By the third inning, South Tahoe had managed a 9-0 lead.
“I like the progress we’re making,” said South Tahoe assistant coach Dave Galicia. “We haven’t been on dirt very much. We’ve been in the gym, which is challenging for the girls and coaches, but I like where we’re going.”
Sophomore Sydney McCarthy went 3-for-3, adding three RBIs for the team. Sophomore Teagan Williamson went 3-for-3, singling twice and doubling once for two RBIs.
Senior Kendra Conard had a home run in the game, making it her seventh of the season. Conard went 2-for-3, with two hits, two runs and three RBIs. Sophomore Malorie Neiger went 2-for-2, with a walk and a single. “Offensively, the girls are stepping up,” said Owens. “They want to get their hits and they show that in the lineup. They’re swinging the bat well.”
South Tahoe’s defense got to show off in game one, with Conard pitching a no hitter and the rest of the defense showing their abilities with no errors. “The team’s been doing really well,” said Conard. “We’ve been adjusting and there’s a few mechanics we need to touch up on, but it’s been going good.”
The Vikings carried their winning momentum over to game two. The team made their mark early in game two, putting together an 8-1 lead by the third inning.
Williamson continued her strong offensive performance, going 3-for-4, with two hits. Senior Drue Chapman, bouncing back from a slump in game one, went 2-for-3, with two hits and three runs. Conard had her eighth home run of the season, going 2-for-3 in the game.
Conard also helped anchor the defensive effort for South Tahoe. She had 12 strikeouts for the game and allowed only four hits. “She’s [Conard] the type of pitcher, where she’s a game changer,” said Owens. “When she’s on, she’s tough to hit and that makes it a little bit easier for us.”
The rest of the defense helped further manage the lead, recording no errors for the game. Owens said that one advantage to maintaining comfortable leads in games is that he gets a chance to let other athletes get playing time. “It’s always nice when you can see your bench players produce,” said Owens. “It gives them experience, which we need.”
South Tahoe will have a road series coming up at Lowry High, April 14. “They’re a really competitive team,” said Conard. “Last year we took the series from them, but they were really close games.” South Tahoe gave Lowry their first loss of the season last year. Owens said Conard will be absent when the team plays at Lowry, but expects a solid performance from his team as a whole.
The next several contests will help determine which teams makes it to regionals next month and Owens said that he’s not letting the recent winning streak take away from the team’s focus. “We’re coming off of two wins and we don’t want to be complacent,” said Owens. “We want to get to the point where we expect harder teams to come at us and we have to prepare for that. It’s one pitch at a time, one game at a time.”
Correction: A story on the South Tahoe softball team in the April 7 issue of the Tahoe Daily Tribune incorrectly stated player Kendra Conard is missing a series at Lowry due to playing in a tournament at San Diego. Conard is going to San Diego for a personal visit.
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