May 21, 2011 - 4:17 pm
MESQUITE — Ariel O’Neill wasn’t ready to end her Boulder City softball career Saturday, and she left with a nice parting shot.
O’Neill hit a solo home run in the fourth inning of the Eagles’ 9-5 loss to Elko in the losers’ bracket final of the Class 3A state tournament at Virgin Valley.
O’Neill, one of only three seniors on the team, nearly helped Boulder City (30-6) rally from a three-run deficit after three innings with two runs in the fourth. But the Indians scored six runs in the sixth to pull away.
“It’s great (to have so many juniors),” Boulder City coach Bruce Reid said. “We’ve been to the tournament the last three years, and here we had a shot to get into the finals again. The program’s doing well, and our players are buying into it. Our girls do what we ask them to do.
“We make adjustments in the game, but you have to give Elko credit today. They were in the zone.”
Tricia Ogle was 2-for-3 with two runs scored and two RBIs to lead Elko, which fell to Churchill County 9-1 in the tournament’s title game.
Whitney Bilbao added a run and two RBIs for Elko, and winning pitcher Ali Lostra hit two doubles.
Ali Rants went 2-for-3 with an RBI to lead Boulder City, which got seven strikeouts from ace Karlee Koopman.
“We were hitting the ball today, and even when we were making outs, we were hitting the ball,” said Reid, whose team had seven hits but allowed 12. “That’s a great defensive team. They’ve got a lot of speed, cover a lot of ground. I’m impressed with how they played their defense this year.”
Taylor McKeever added a run for the Eagles, and had a potential home-run ball snagged on the edge of the fence in the fourth inning.
“It just wasn’t our day. It wasn’t our day at all,” Reid said. “We’ve got to learn from it, but that’s part of life, unfortunately. We would love to win everything and be easy doing it, but that’s not the challenge.”
Churchill County 9, Elko 1 — Jenny Rechel went 4-for-4 with two doubles, a triple, three runs, two RBIs and a stolen base as the Greenwave (27-10) cruised past the Indians (17-9) in the final.
Pinder had seven strikeouts with only one walk for Churchill County, which scored three runs in the first inning and never looked back.
Kyla Clack had an RBI triple for Elko, which scored its lone run in the first.