South Tahoe softball swept at Sparks |

South Tahoe softball swept at Sparks

Anthony Gentile
South Tahoe sophomore Kendra Conard delivered a standout performance in the circle and at the plate in the Vikings’ three-game series at Sparks last weekend. Conard threw three complete games with 36 strikeouts, and went 7-for-11 with seven RBIs offensively.
Anthony Gentile / Tahoe Daily Tribune |

SPARKS, Nev. — The South Tahoe softball team couldn’t manage a road victory in its three-game series at Sparks last weekend — and suffered a pair of heartbreaking defeats in the process. The Vikings lost all three games against the Railroaders, a sweep that included a pair of 9-8 walk-off losses.

In Friday’s series opener, South Tahoe (1-5 I-A Northern) fell behind and saw its comeback attempt foiled with late heroics from the hosts in a 9-8 loss. The Vikings scored five runs in the top of the seventh inning to tie the game 8-8, but Sparks (4-3) answered with a run in the bottom half of the frame to deliver the win.

South Tahoe opened the scoring Friday with a run in the top of the first. Sparks took a 3-1 lead in the bottom of the second, and the Vikings tied the game with a pair of runs in the next half-inning.

After a scoreless third, the Railroaders scored five runs over the next three innings to build an 8-3 lead. Down to its last three outs, South Tahoe rallied to tie the game — Drue Chapman scored the Vikings fifth run of the frame with a delayed steal of home.

Kendra Conard had a team-high two hits for South Tahoe in the loss, finishing 2-for-4 with a home run, three RBIs and two runs. The sophomore also started in the circle and recorded a season-high 16 strikeouts while throwing a complete game — only one of the nine runs she allowed was earned.

Offensively on Friday, Bailey Barcellos went 1-for-2 with an RBI and two runs. Chapman, Nina Barnhart and Brooke Erdody each had a hit, RBI and run, Haley Crowson finished with a hit and an RBI and Sativa Chambers added a hit and a run.

In the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader, South Tahoe couldn’t get its offense going in a 9-1 loss. The Vikings scored their lone run of the game in the fourth — Sparks had three-run innings in the second, third and fifth.

Conard went 2-for-3 in the defeat, and scored South Tahoe’s only run of the game. In the circle, she struck out 10 and walked none while allowing two earned runs on eight hits.

In the second contest of the twinbill Saturday, the Vikings jumped in front early but couldn’t hold off Sparks in a 9-8 loss. South Tahoe’s fifth straight defeat was its second walk-off loss of the series.

Both teams traded a pair of runs to start the game, and South Tahoe jumped in front 7-2 with five runs in the top of the second. In the fourth, Sparks began a methodical rally — the Railroaders scored two runs in the fourth, fifth and sixth to take an 8-7 lead.

In the top of the seventh, Conard smacked a game-tying solo home run to make it 8-8. But Sparks again had an answer, and scored in the bottom half of the frame complete the sweep.

Conard delivered a standout performance at the plate and in the circle in the series finale. She went 3-for-4 with a double, home run, four RBIs and two runs offensively, and struck out 10 while allowing two earned runs as part of her second complete game of the day.

Erdody also had three hits in the second game Saturday, finishing 3-for-4 with an RBI and a run. Barcellos went 2-for-4 with two RBIs and two runs, Crowson was 2-for-4 with two runs and Chapman finished with a hit, RBI and run.

South Tahoe returns to action Friday, when it makes its home debut against Truckee at 3 p.m. The Vikings’ three-game series with the Wolverines concludes with a doubleheader on Saturday — the first game is scheduled to start at 11 a.m.

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