Fifth-inning rally lifts Indian Springs past Tonopah for Class 1A state softball crown

With her team down by three runs entering the fifth inning Saturday, Indian Springs softball coach Lynn Dale tried not to panic.

The coach had seen similar scenarios before, so she knew her team was not out of the game.

Dale's patience was rewarded, as sophomore Heather Thormahlen capped the scoring in a five-run fifth inning by belting a two-out, two-run double that ultimately gave the Thunderbirds a 5-4 victory over Tonopah in the Class 1A state championship game at Sunrise Mountain.

"We have had to come back every time we've played (the Muckers) this season," Dale said. "These girls do not give up. All season, they've stepped up when we've needed them to."

Tonopah (17-9) took control early, capitalizing on four hits and two errors to go ahead 3-0 in the first. Deanna Van Poucke capped the scoring in the inning with an RBI single.

Both offenses remained silent until Indian Springs (22-7) benefited from two Tonopah errors to score three unearned runs to open the fifth inning, tying the score at 3. Thormahlen then stepped to the plate with two outs and the bases loaded.

"I was a little nervous, but I knew what had to be done," said Thormahlen, whose double was the only hit of the inning for the Thunderbirds. "The hit felt amazing. I knew it was going to drop."

Thormahlen's double to center field gave Indian Springs a 5-3 lead.

Tonopah had a chance to tie the score in the seventh, scoring an unearned run to make it 5-4. Britney Klapper followed with a two-out double to right field, but the game ended when Shanda Otteson was easily thrown out at the plate trying to tie the score.

Klapper took the loss despite yielding just four hits.

Brandi Bryl pitched the distance, scattering nine hits, to get the win for Indian Springs.