Palo Verde put two freshmen in the circle Thursday in an attempt to calm the bats of defending state champion Green Valley in a Class 5A Southern Region elimination game at Palo Verde.
The duo did not disappoint.
JoJo Corniel and Belle Will combined to scatter six hits, and Palo Verde (16-6) earned a 1-0 home victory over Green Valley (25-4) to claim a berth in next week’s state tournament in Reno.
Cameron Lauretta drove in the game’s only run for Palo Verde, the No. 2 seed in the Mountain League, with a fourth-inning single. Will and Mya Bartlett added two hits apiece.
The Panthers will play at Centennial at 2 p.m. Friday in the Southern Region title game. Palo Verde has to defeat the Bulldogs twice to win the region title and claim the South’s No. 1 seed at the state tournament.
Green Valley, the No. 1 seed from the Desert League, outlasted Shadow Ridge (16-3), the No. 1 seed from the Mountain League, 2-1 in eight innings in an elimination game earlier Thursday to earn the shot at Palo Verde.
— No. 1D Silverado 12, No. 5D Doral Academy 2: Jordyn Bunce went 3-for-3 with a double and four RBIs as the Skyhawks (20-7) defeated the Dragons (12-8). Silverado will host Tech at 11 a.m. Saturday. Doral will host Legacy in an elimination game at 4 p.m. Friday.
— No. 2M Tech 8, No. 3D Spring Valley 4: The Roadrunners (16-6) used a four-run fourth inning to take control in a victory over the Grizzlies (16-7). Kaylee Farasy went 2-for-4 with two RBIs to lead Tech. Spring Valley will host Las Vegas in an elimination game at 4 p.m. Friday.
— No. 1M Bishop Gorman 15, No. 4D Chaparral 0: Jordyn Fray went 2-for-3 with two doubles and five RBIs to lead the Gaels (20-8) past the Cowboys (10-10). Gianna Hornyak pitched a three-inning no-hitter to earn the win. Gorman will host Cimarron-Memorial at 11 a.m. Saturday. Chaparral will host Mojave in an elimination game at 4 p.m. Friday.
— No. 2D Cimarron-Memorial 17, No. 3M Durango 2: The Spartans (14-6) pulled away with a nine-run second inning to beat Durango (12-8). Makenna Webber went 3-for-3 with two doubles and two RBIs to lead the way for Cimarron. Durango will host Bonanza in an elimination game at 4 p.m. Friday.
— No. 1M Boulder City 16, No. 5 Moapa Valley 5: The Eagles (18-12) overcame an early four-run deficit to storm past the Pirates (12-10) and clinch a state tournament berth. Alexis Farrar had a home run and four RBIs for Boulder City. The Eagles will play at Virgin Valley at 4 p.m. Friday in the Southern Region championship game. Boulder City will have to win twice to claim the region title.
Earlier Thursday, Moapa Valley defeated Clark, the No. 2 seed from the Desert League, 6-3 to stay alive. Andie Woods tossed a complete-game three-hitter, striking out 10.
— No. 1 Needles 16, No. 4 Lake Mead 0: Emma Craft and Jayden Wade each went 3-for-3 with a double and two RBIs to help the Mustangs (27-4) beat the Eagles (9-11) in their opening-round Southern League playoff game. Needles will next face No. 2 White Pine at 1:30 p.m. Friday at The Meadows.
— No. 1 Pahranagat Valley 17, No. 4 Indian Springs 9: The Panthers (18-5) scored seven runs in the sixth inning on the way to a victory over the Thunderbirds (7-13). Pahranagat Valley will next host Tonopah at noon Friday.
— No. 3 Tonopah 12, No. 2 Round Mountain 1: Alyssa Maurer went 2-for-3 with a triple and Montana Strozzi struck out 11 while throwing a six-inning one-hitter as the Muckers (17-4) rolled past the Knights (13-6).
— No. 1D Shadow Ridge 5, No. 4M Silverado 2: The Mustangs (25-4) scored three runs in the fifth inning to break a 2-2 tie and held on for a win over the Skyhawks (9-17). Shadow Ridge will next host Sierra Vista at 11 a.m. Saturday. Silverado will host Doral Academy in an elimination game at 4 p.m. Friday.
— No. 6M Sierra Vista 13, No. 6M Legacy 5: The Mountain Lions (16-16) scored five runs in the first inning and never looked back in a victory over the Longhorns (8-17). Jayson Schmeisser went 4-for-4 with a triple and five RBIs to lead Sierra Vista, and Chase Frey held opposing batters to four hits over five innings while striking out 10. Legacy will play at Desert Pines in an elimination game at 4 p.m. Friday.
— No. 1M Foothill 4, No. 5M Durango 3: Micahel Gibson went 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI as the Falcons (25-6) scored a run in the eighth inning to beat the Trailblazers (10-17). Foothill will next host Bonanza at 11 a.m. Saturday. Durango will host Chaparral in an elimination game at 4 p.m. Friday.
— No. 2D Bonanza 6, No. 3M Tech 4: The Bengals (13-14) scored six runs in the first inning, and that was enough for a victory over the Roadrunners (17-14). Chase Woodring went 1-for-3 with two RBIs and a run scored to lead Bonanza. Tech will host Del Sol in an elimination game at 4 p.m. Friday.
— No. 2D Virgin Valley 11, No. 1M Boulder City 8: The Bulldogs (24-18) exploded for six runs in the seventh inning to rally past the Eagles (21-8) and clinch a berth in the state tournament. Kurt Felix went 3-for-5 with a double and an RBI to lead Virgin Valley, which will play at Pahrump Valley in the Southern Region championship game at 1 p.m. Friday. Virgin Valley will have to win twice to claim the region title.
Earlier Thursday, Virgin Valley stayed alive with an 8-4 victory over Moapa Valley (23-8), the No. 1 seed from the Desert League. Jared Jenson went 3-for-4 with three RBIs for the Bulldogs.
— No. 1 The Meadows 16, No. 4 White Pine 6: Ben Garber went 3-for-4 with two doubles and an RBI, and the Mustangs (17-14) posted 11 runs in the first two innings en route to an opening-round Southern League playoff victory over the Bobcats (4-11). The Meadows will next host Needles at 1 p.m. Friday.
— No. 2 Needles 8, No. 3 Lake Mead 4: Logan Parker went 2-for-2 with two RBIs to help the Mustangs (22-9) defeat the Eagles (16-14).
— No. 1S Pahranagat Valley 15, No. 2C Round Mountain 12: The Panthers (18-7), the No. 1 seed from the South League, outlasted the Knights (9-7), the No. 2 seed from the Central. Pahranagat Valley will next host Indian Springs at 1 p.m. Friday.
— No. 1C Indian Springs 21, No. 2S Liberty Baptist 1: The Thunderbirds (16-4) scored 10 runs in the first inning and rolled to a victory over the Knights (8-7).