May 17, 2018 - 9:44 pm
RENO — The bats did come around for Basic, but it was just too late.
The Wolves’ softball team put itself into too big of a hole, and even four singles to lead off the seventh inning weren’t enough. Basic fell 8-5 to Douglas in the opening round of the Class 4A state softball tournament at Bishop Manogue High School on Thursday.
“All in all, it wasn’t a bad game. We weren’t littered with errors, we just didn’t hit the way that we needed to hit in order to make things happen,” Basic coach Lauren Taylor said. “The seventh inning is a rotten time to all of the sudden wake the bats up.”
The bugaboo for the Wolves (26-12) was the long ball. Precisely, three of them, at seemingly the most inopportune of times. After the first two batters struck out to start the game, Douglas (23-11-1) put a runner on first, then Chloie Pratt poked one over the short right-field porch for a 2-0 lead.
Basic took a brief lead in the bottom of the third, but served up a homer to Alyssa Smokey, who singled in the fifth to extend the lead to 4-3. In the seventh, Jasmine McNinch led off the Douglas half of the inning with a single, then Haley Doughty launched one to make it 6-3.
“We knew we had to do something,” senior Hannah Barr said. “I knew that I had to amp my team up, I knew that somebody had to get a hit and we coudn’t start out with one out.”
Barr started the inning with a single. Sanoe Helenihi, Angela Santillanes and Mikayla Berg all followed, and suddenly Basic had the tying run at the plate with the bases loaded and nobody out.
Alyssa Ferguson reached on a fielder’s choice retiring Santillanes at third. Then a screamer off Shelby Basso’s bat landed in the mitt of Douglas first baseman Kettja Bennett, who stepped on first to double-up Ferguson and end the game.
Basic will face Shadow Ridge (27-11) in an elimination game at noon Friday. Douglas meets Spanish Springs (31-3) in the winners’ bracket final at 2:30 p.m. The Basic-Shadow Ridge winner will play the Douglas-Spanish Springs loser at 5 p.m. for the right to advance to the final.
Spanish Springs 7, Shadow Ridge 6 — The Mustangs took a 6-3 lead into the bottom of the seventh, but allowed three runs to score, and Rylee Retzer hit a walk-off homer in the eighth to move the Cougars to the winners’ bracket final.
“We like to do it the hard way for some reason, we’ve always done it the hard way,” Shadow Ridge coach Julia Meyn said. “That’s what we’re going to do.”
Shadow Ridge jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first, then Shea Clements doubled in a pair in the second to make it 3-0. Alyssa Stanley made the lead four in the third with the first of her two home runs.
Spanish Springs answered with three in the fourth, but the Mustangs got them right back with back-to-back homers by Stanley and Martin in the fifth.
In the seventh inning, the Mustangs’ Mia Voges ran into her first trouble of the game after relieving Stanley in the fourth. She hit, then walked the first two batters and Shadow Ridge turned back to Stanley. Three runs scored, but the Mustangs faced a bases-loaded, no-out situation right after and escaped with no further damage.
Shadow Ridge went down 1-2-3 in the eighth, and Retzer put the second pitch of the bottom of the inning over the batters’ eye.
“We’re going to take it when it hurts the most, and that’s going to be Saturday,” an upbeat Meyn said.