Whittell softball sweeps Coleville in doubleheader
GARDNERVILLE, Nev. — The Whittell softball team caught a break on Tuesday — and took advantage for a pair of crucial league wins. The Warriors swept Coleville in a doubleheader at Lampe Park, downing a Wolves team that was without the full services of its top pitcher.
“If we didn’t win today, we wouldn’t go to zone for sure,” said Warriors senior Jade Louis. “It was scary, but at the same time we knew we could fight and win.”
Whittell expected to face hard-throwing Coleville right-hander Thais Oda in both games, and instead was thrown a change-up by the Wolves. An injury to the Wolves ace forced them to start Shaylor McCann, who threw all but one inning of the twinbill.
In the first game, Whittell (7-7, 4-4 IV Northern) overcame a slow start en route to a 9-5 win. After falling behind 2-0 in the first inning, the Warriors scored in four straight frames and held off Coleville (9-5, 3-4) to end a two-game slide.
The Warriors needed an inning to get their timing down against McCann, then settled in nicely at the plate. In the bottom of the second, Whittell scored three runs on five hits to take the lead — including run-scoring singles from first baseman Jordyn Becker, second baseman Kaitlyn Kjer and center fielder Daria Sharon as part of the rally.
“Everyone seemed to hit the ball out there,” Warriors third baseman Eva Fuller said. Instead of a few grounders here and there, everyone made it to the green.”
Whittell added three more runs in the bottom of the third to stretch its lead to 6-2. Fuller made it 4-2 with an RBI single, and left fielder Tatum Libert capped the rally with a two-out, two-run single.
After Coleville scored in the top of the fourth, Whittell answered with a pair of runs in the bottom half of the frame. Five straight Warriors reached safely with two outs, including a bases-loaded walk to Fuller and an RBI single from right fielder Madison Idso in back-to-back at-bats that made it 8-3.
The Wolves pulled within four runs in the top of the fifth before Whittell added to its lead with an RBI single from starting pitcher Kelsey Kjer in the next half-inning. The Warriors had a 9-5 lead in the seventh when Kelsey Kjer was replaced after Coleville’s leadoff batter reached on an error — Idso came in and got three straight outs to close out the victory.
Copsy had a team-high three hits in the first game, finishing 3-for-3 with three runs. Fuller went 2-for-2 with two walks, two RBIs and two runs, Libert was 2-for-3 with three RBIs and Kelsey Kjer finished 2-for-4 with an RBI.
In the circle, Kelsey Kjer threw 6.0+ innings for the win, allowing five runs on seven hits. The right-hander struck out two, walked one and got nine ground ball outs.
In the second game, Whittell completed the sweep with a complete performance. The Warriors beat Coleville 14-1, a five-inning win that featured strong offense, defense and pitching.
“We just worked as a team — we actually came together and made less mental errors,” Fuller said.
Coleville started Oda in second game of the doubleheader — and Whittell chased her by loading the bases in its first three at-bats. McCann entered the contest behind in the count 3-1 against Copsy and got a strikeout two pitches later — then Becker and Fuller delivered run-scoring hits to make it 2-0.
Whittell added five runs on seven hits in the second to extend its lead. Libert led off the frame with a double to left field then scored when Sharon singled in the next at-bat — a Becker three-run double followed by a Fuller RBI single made it 7-0.
The Warriors took a 10-0 lead into the fourth, and added four more runs in the bottom of the frame to jump further in front. Becker delivered run-scoring hits in both innings as part of a big game at the plate — the junior finished the contest 3-for-4 with seven RBIs.
Coleville scored its lone run on two hits in the bottom of the fifth, ending a shutout bid by Idso. The sophomore right-hander allowed two hits in the first four innings, and finished with two strikeouts — she was helped by a pair of double plays from Copsy, including a game-ending catch and quick strike to second base to double off a Wolves runner in the fifth.
“When our defense is good, our offense gets better — it always seems to work hand in hand,” Fuller said.
Kelsey Kjer also had three hits in the win, finishing 3-for-4 with three runs. Copsy went 2-for-3 with two RBIs and three runs, Fuller was 2-for-4 with two RBIs and Libert finished 1-for-3 with an RBI and two runs — Sharon added a hit and two runs and catcher Dominique Ogilvie had a hit and three runs.
Tuesday’s sweep evened Whittell’s overall and league records, and kept the team in position for the postseason. The Warriors’ four league losses have come against Wells and Eureka, who are both currently undefeated in Div. IV Northern competition.
“We’re getting better and it’s a great feeling,” Fuller said. “We’re definitely coming together as a team.”
Whittell returns to action Friday, when it begins a two-day tournament at Stodick Park in Gardnerville. The Warriors resume league action Wednesday, April 18 with a doubleheader at Carlin.
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