Ladies bash Lakers
Rivalries fuel the competitive spirit. North versus South, Mets against Yankees, Raiders and the 49ers and, of course, the age-old neighborly match-up of the Truckee Wolverines and the North Tahoe Lakers.
The 2001 season has largely been one of frustration for the TTHS varsity softball team, losing several games that were in the bag and committing grievous errors in the field that translated to heartbreaking defeats.
Heading into Saturday’s game at home, the Wolverines stood behind a losing 5-8 League record, one that does not accurately describe the skill of Coach Jack Howard’s bench.
The Lakers also stepped onto the field at Tahoe-Truckee High School with their heads hanging low, after a 0-14 season that landed them in dead last place in League standings.
In game one of the day’s double header match-up, freshman Amber Harder stepped onto the mound for the Wolverines and held a slow Truckee defense together through five innings of play. Despite heavy feet in the field, the Wolverine dug-out moved to a an early one-run lead in the first, off of a line drive double from Julie Hill.
Answering back with two runs in the top of the second, the Lakers jumped to a short-lived 2-1 lead before a hit by Heather Shove and a double by Jessie Turner evened the score.
Both benches rallied in the fifth as North Tahoe rounded three for home and hits by Shove, Turner and Hill drove in two more for the Wolverines to put the home team down by one (5-4).
In the top of the sixth, Truckee’s Nolan Ryan, senior Shove, picked up the rag at the mound, centered herself and delivered four strike-outs in the last two innings to hold the Lakers at bay and open the door for a Wolverine bat attack.
A triple by Teal Cutter in the bottom of the sixth drove in Vanessa Ramirez and India Millholen to seal the day’s first win, 7-6 for the Wolverines.
In their team huddle before game two, the Truckee ladies came to a realization. This was not a Kings/Lakers meeting of skill, adroitness and domination. Backed by the pitching combo of Shove and Harder, the bats that Turner, Ramirez, Cutter and Shove bring to the plate and the overall ability of the Wolverine team, Truckee could destroy the Lakers and bring some closure to a rocky season in the process.
“We came out smoking – it was like we were an entirely different team,” said Coach Jack Howard.
With Shove on the mound, Truckee came out for a victory – short, sweet and merciless. A double by Cutter, a triple and a single by Turner, two doubles and five RBIs by Shove, more hits than most statisticians could count and five innings later, the Wolverines were enjoying a 13-run lead over the deflated Laker bench.
Two fielding errors by the Wolverine defense in the fifth allowed three Laker runs to score, yet by the end of the inning the Lakers were crying “Uncle!” and a mercy rule was invoked to give the Wolverines the 13-3 victory.
“When we come out to play, we can beat anybody,” mused Howard.
With a 6-8 record, the sixth-place Wolverines entered playoffs on Wednesday against third-ranked Lowry. Truckee’s last match-up against the Buckaroos yielded a double-header loss for the Wolverines and Howard and his team were looking to even the score in the hopes of advancing to the next round of post season play tomorrow. Final scores for Wednesday’s games were not available before press time.
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As seniors from North Tahoe collected diplomas this week, a group of Lakers continued another local tradition — capturing first place at the boys’ regional golf championship.