South Tahoe softball hits winning streak at Elko | TahoeDailyTribune.com

South Tahoe softball hits winning streak at Elko

J.P. Kelsey
jpkelsey@tahoedailytribune.com
South Tahoe softball coach Eric Owens gives the team a pep talk before facing off against Elko. The Vikings went 2-1 in the series.
Courtesy/ Brooke Williamson |

The South Tahoe softball team wrapped up another series on the road last weekend, going 2-1 against the Elko Indians. The team went 8-14, 12-4 and 8-5, respectively, in the series.

With the two wins, the Lady Vikings finally broke their losing streak and are 2-4 for league play and ranked sixth. Head coach Eric Owens said it was a much needed confidence boost, but they still need more time on the field to hone their defensive skills.

“The effects of not playing on the grass and dirt are still showing for us,” said Owens. “We have to work through it and prepare defensively better this week.”

South Tahoe was still clearing out some cobwebs in the series opener on Friday, playing catch up for most of the game and ultimately falling to the Indians. Elko took advantage of South Tahoe’s defensive challenges and jumped to an early lead in the first inning, 8-2, forcing South Tahoe to reevaluate its game plan. The Lady Vikings battled back, tacking on one run in the third inning, three in the fifth and two in the sixth.

Sophomore Teagan Williamson gave a boost to her batting average, having two hits and a RBI for the game. Senior Drue Chapman was on par with Williams, managing two hits and a RBI for the Vikings. Senior Kendra Conrad gave it all she had to help the team bounce back. The starting pitcher had three hits, one of which was a home run, and four RBIs, but the Vikings still fell short of the mark.

After some time to rest and assess Elko, South Tahoe came back to settle the score, taking the final two games of the series. Owens said the offence was a critical element in their wins and something they will continue to sharpen throughout the season.

“We did have hitting working for us in the series,” said Owens. “We battled in every game.”

The hitting talent was definitely on display in game two. After matching only one run to Elko’s four by the fifth inning, it looked like South Tahoe might have been heading for another defeat. The Lady Vikings soon turned the tide and starting pounding back. Conrad gave another stellar performance to get the Vikings on track. Batting .800 for the game, Conrad wasn’t short on hits. She had four of them, with two being homers, and five RBIs.

Sophomore Sydney McCarthy, along with Williamson and Chapman, had two hits and a RBI each to supplement the sixth inning rally South Tahoe was putting together. Sophomore Hailey Naccaratto put up two hits and two RBIs to help the Vikings further their lead. Seniors Brooke Erdody and Samantha Kallas had a hit and RBI each to round out the offensive effort for South Tahoe. Elko was unable to answer South Tahoe’s six runs in the sixth inning and five runs in the seventh.

Game three showed more of an evenly matched performance, with South Tahoe ultimately coming out on top with the win. The Vikings came out with bats blazing, putting four runs on the board in the first inning. With South Tahoe having the high ground, it took Elko until the third inning to gain any offensive momentum, eventually brining two girls home. Naccaratto, Chapman and Williamson tacked on two hits and a RBI each for South Tahoe.

Conrad had another impressive offensive showing with two hits and three RBIs. After taking the lead, 5-4, in the sixth inning and South Tahoe unable to add any further points since the first inning, Elko was on the verge of taking the series. South Tahoe banded together and came up with a clutch win.

The Vikings added four unanswered runs in the seventh inning to put the series to bed.

“I saw improvement but, yet still room to grow and we will work hard this week to get ready for Sparks,” said Owens. The Vikings will compete at Sparks in a three-game series March 31 through April 1.