RENO – A potent offense was Indian Springs’ biggest weapon this season as the Thunderbirds swung their way past opponent after opponent.
On Saturday, a different approach was needed, and the Thunderbirds showed they could be just as patient as they can be powerful.
Indian Springs drew seven walks, including four with the bases loaded, in an 11-run first inning and cruised past Tonopah 18-8 in five innings at UNR’s Hixson Field to win its second straight Class 1A softball state title.
"It helped out a lot that we were familiar with Tonopah," Indian Springs coach Steve Lawson said. "We knew that if we made them throw strikes, we would get our opportunities. The message to the girls was just be patient, be patient."
Strikes were few and far between early. Indian Springs (25-1) had only three hits in the first – and two of those came from the 13th and 14th batters of the inning.
Three Tonopah pitchers were needed just to get to the second inning.
"It was hard to be patient," Indian Springs catcher Baylee McCormick said. "They switched pitchers on us. We’re used to seeing them a lot, but we were just so anxious to get that state title."
Hard or not, the Thunderbirds were patient. Indian Springs had only four hits in the first three innings but led 15-6.
"It was hard for me because I hate slow pitchers," said shortstop Heather Thormahlen, who went 1-for-4 and scored three runs.
One way or another, though, the Thunderbirds offered plenty of run support again for pitcher Brandi Bryl.
McCormick had two hits, including the game-ending double in the bottom of the fifth. Alexxa Reinke added a double and a single and had three RBIs for the Thunderbirds, whose loss came to Tonopah (10-12) in the Southern League tournament.
Elaina Dunn and Megan Donham each went 2-for-2 with an RBI, and Alli Friel was 2-for-3 with an RBI for the Muckers.
■ Churchill County 10, Lowry 1 – At Reno, Danielle Rothery went 1-for-3 with a home run and four RBIs to lead the Greenwave over the Buckaroos in the title game.
■ Yerington 1, Lincoln County 0 – At Lovelock, Kelsey Soukup led off the top of the second with a home run, and the Lions edged the Lynx in the title game.
Katie Nicholas pitched a five-hitter for Yerington (27-4-1).
K.C. McCrosky allowed four hits for Lincoln County (28-6).
■ Lincoln County 8, Yerington 1 – At Lovelock, McCrosky pitched a three-hitter with six strikeouts as the Lynx forced the winner-take-all finale.In-depth high school sports coverage