Puzey blanks STHS | TahoeDailyTribune.com
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Puzey blanks STHS

Jared Green
Jim Grant/Tahoe Daily Tribune Jackie Smith of South Tahoe High connects with a Brittany Puzey pitch during a Sierra Division softball game on Tuesday in South Lake Tahoe.
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The South Tahoe Vikings ran into a buzzsaw named Brittany Puzey on Tuesday and lost their season finale, 13-0, to the Douglas Tigers.

Puzey struck out 10 Vikings and allowed only one hit in five innings and Douglas cleanup hitter Kayla Dunn smacked a three-run homer among her four hits. The Tigers had 14 hits off of South Tahoe hurler Missy Lucero, but it was errors that keyed their seven-run second inning.

Lucero was working her way through the Douglas lineup and had two outs in the second when the fielding follies began. With two runners on base, a long flyball to right field turned into a two-base error that plated both runners, then a ground ball went through second baseman Jen Bigelow’s legs for another unearned run.

“Missy was on target all day, but some key errors hurt us,” South Tahoe head coach Rich Barna said. “We had a couple of innings where we needed one more out and we just couldn’t get it.”

After Lucero plunked Puzey to extend the inning, Dunn launched a drive over the center-field fence to a 7-0 Douglas (28-7 overall, 15-1 Sierra) lead. Val Smith followed with a double and scored on a Sam Wilson single to finish the long rally and the game was out of reach for the Vikings.

In reality, it may have been out of reach when the first Douglas runner crossed home plate. Puzey, a senior, was untouchable early on, with Kylie Novasel’s flyball to center field the only fair ball hit by South Tahoe in the first three innings. Most of the Vikings had trouble getting around on Puzey’s fastball and were befuddled by her off-speed pitches.

“Brittany’s been pitching really well in the last month of the season,” Douglas head coach Todd Wilks said. “When she’s on, she’s pretty dominant.”

Aria Kallish walked in the second and Lucero hit a flare up the middle in the fourth, the only runners South Tahoe (4-18, 4-12) put on base.

“I saw (Puzey) pitch as a freshman at Carson (High), and she was pretty good back then,” Barna said. “But she’s really perfected her changeup this year and she’s the best we’ve seen.”

After the game, Barna had fond farewells for his six senior players, who rounded the bases individually before sliding into home.


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