North Tahoe softball wins tiebreaker
The Lakers are in. But their opponent Tuesday didn’t make it easy.
Fighting for the fourth and final playoff seed, the North Tahoe softball team rallied for seven runs in the seventh inning of a one-game tiebreaker with Whittell to pull off a 12-10 come-from-behind win.
The Lakers and Warriors split a doubleheader to end the regular season this past Saturday, setting up the tiebreaker because both teams finished with 3-7 records in Northern 2A league play. The game was held at Incline High School.
North Tahoe enters the regional tournament as the fourth seed and will play No. 1-seeded Battle Mountain at Mineral County High School (Hawthorne) on Friday at 10 a.m. Silver Stage and Pershing County (Lovelock) are seeded second and third, respectively, and will play Friday at noon.
Tuesday’s playoff tiebreaker did not start well for the Lakers, who allowed six runs in the bottom of the first inning. (A coin was flipped to determine the home team.)
Laker bats remained quiet through the first two innings. But in the third, senior Alyssa McElwain put North Tahoe on the board when she led off with a single, advanced to third on a throwing error and scored on a passed ball, adjusting the score to 6-1.
Meanwhile, North Tahoe pitcher Shea Mesa held the Warriors in check, holding them scoreless until allowing a single run in the fifth.
The Lakers answered with another three runs in the fourth and one in the sixth to pull to within 7-5.
Entering the top half of the seventh trailing by two, North Tahoe exploded for seven runs to take a 12-7 lead.
Freshman Alexa Andrews, who’s been on an offensive tear of late and came within a single of hitting for the cycle Tuesday, started the rally with a double. After a base hit off the bat of junior Christina Lane, North Tahoe coach Richard Mesa called for a fake bunt and double steal.
It worked, as sophomore Natalia Roberts showed bunt while Andrews and Lane advanced into scoring position on steals. Roberts then delivered a clutch, two-RBI base hit to ignite the comeback.
On the brink of elimination, the Warriors wouldn’t go quietly.
They scored three runs in the bottom of the seventh before Mesa escaped a two-out, bases-loaded jam with a ground out to Andrews at shortstop, who flipped the ball to third baseman Hilary Stoner.
Andrews was 3 for 5 in the game with a home run ” her fourth of the season ” a triple, double and four RBIs. Roberts went 4 for 5 with three RBIs and McElwain 3 for 4 with two RBIs. Mealani Mesa and Jennifer Jimenez each had one hit and Shea Mesa had one hit and two RBIs. Shea Mesa recorded six strikeouts in her seven innings pitching.
Coach Richard Mesa credited his team for staying in the game and battling back after falling behind early. Defense played a major role, the coach said, as the Lakers committed only two errors the rest of the game after the first inning.
Game 1: Battle Mountain (No. 1 seed) vs. North Tahoe (No. 4 seed) at 10 a.m.
Game 2: Silver Stage (No. 2 seed) vs. Pershing County (No. 3 seed) at noon
Game 3: Loser Game 2 vs. Loser Game 1 at 2 p.m.
Game 4: Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2 at 4 p.m.
Game 5: Loser Game 4 vs. Winner Game 3 at 10 a.m.
Game 6 (championship): Winner Game 4 vs. Winner Game 5 at noon
Game 7: IF NECESSARY at 2 p.m.
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