Vikings give bus a rest |

Vikings give bus a rest

Jared Green
Jim Grant/ Tahoe Daily Tribune Mollie Novasel of South Tahoe High pitches to a Reno batter during the Vikings' home opener Tuesday.

The Reno High Huskies gave the South Tahoe High Vikings a difficult homecoming on Tuesday afternoon, downing the Vikings 13-0 in five innings.

Tuesday’s game was the first home game of the year for South Tahoe after 17 road games to start the season and the Vikings will close the season with eight straight games at home, all Sierra Division matchups.

South Tahoe starter Missy Lucero couldn’t find her control early on, walking seven Huskies in her two innings of work. Reno scored four runs in each of those innings, then scored two more in the third off reliever Mollie Novasel for a 10-run edge.

Novasel held the Huskies to five runs over the final three innings, keeping the visitors off-balance with her changeup and knuckleball. She was a victim of shabby defense, allowing only four hits and a walk.

The senior said she likes to follow the fireballing Lucero on the mound due to the contrast in their pitching styles.

“Missy always talks to me when she’s pitching and that helps a lot,” Novasel said. “I was just hitting my spots today. My changeup was a little off, but everything else was working.”

Unfortunately for the Vikings’ fans, the Reno pitchers had everything working as well. South Tahoe managed only six hits, including three by Novasel. Lucero had two singles and Kylie Novasel had a hit and the only other South Tahoe hitter to reach base was Shay McLaughlin on a second-inning walk. Lucero was the only Viking to reach third base against the Reno duo of Stephanie Shuman (three innings) and Evelyn Dwyer.

“(Reno’s) pitchers were hittable for the most part. We’ve hit them in the past,” South Tahoe head coach Rich Barna said. “We just didn’t put the bat on the ball today.”

South Tahoe hosts Carson High on Thursday and then plays a doubleheader against North Valleys High on Saturday. While the Vikings are still looking for their first Sierra Division victory, they’re pretty happy knowing they won’t leave home again this season.

“I love it here,” Novasel said. “I was in the locker room changing and told (shortstop) Erin Jamison, ‘Something’s missing. Oh yeah, the long bus ride.'”

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