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Basic softball pulls off two comebacks to win 4A state title

The Basic softball team had already done the impossible Saturday, so there was no reason for coach Ryan Utes to think it couldn’t happen again.

His trust was rewarded.

The Wolves, who needed to beat Sierra Vista twice to earn the Class 4A state title, took control early in the second game to win 11-2 at Faith Lutheran and secure their first state championship.

Senior Halley Redd went 3-for-3 with a home run, a double and four RBIs to lead Basic (27-7), which forced the second game with a frantic late-inning rally in the first.

Utes, whose offense was flat throughout much of the early game, said a key change fueled a resurgence.

“We changed our approach at the plate,” Utes said. “We started laying off pitches we had been cutting at, and it definitely paid off.”

Basic, the Sky League’s top-seeded team, fell behind 2-0 in the first inning of the second game.

Its deficit didn’t last long.

Taimane Lavea and Samantha Marquez had key hits in the second inning to help the Wolves take a 3-2 lead. The Mountain Lions’ offense was squelched the rest of the way, while Basic kept adding on.

Redd and Melanie Hughes each had homers for the Wolves, who erased all doubt with five runs the final two innings. Mia Frias added two doubles, while Isabella Christensen had a double and a triple.

“Those homers were demoralizing for them and re-moralizing for us,” Utes said. “The girls just got to work and never let up.”

Laura Episom went 2-for-4 with two doubles and two RBIs to lead Sierra Vista (18-3), the Sky League’s No. 2 seed. Teammate Riley Watkins went 2-for-2 with a double and two walks.

The Wolves’ championship was made possible by an unlikely first-game rally, in which they scored seven runs in the final two innings of an 8-5 victory over the Mountain Lions. Lavea went 2-for-4 with a home run and two RBIs in that game. Hughes struck out eight while pitching five innings to earn the victory.

Class 3A

No. 1N Churchill County 11, No. 2N Fernley 1: At Churchill County, Vernita Fillmore pitched a complete-game four-hitter to lead the Greenwave (22-6) past the Vaqueros (24-15) for the championship in five innings.

Class 2A

No. 1S Needles 12, No. 2S White Pine 1: At Durango, Liana DeLeon went 2-for-3 with a home run and two RBIs to help the Mustangs (28-4) win the title with a victory over the Bobcats (19-13-1). Teammate Jaelyn Garcia struck out six while tossing a four-hitter to earn the win.

Class 1A

No. 1N Coleville 10, No. 1S Pahranagat Valley 4: At Fernley, Kaelyn Lange went 3-for-4 with a double, a triple and two RBIs to help the Wolves win the championship with a victory over the Panthers. Lange also struck out 14 while throwing a four-hitter.

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