Laker softball too much for Incline
After winning a doubleheader with Coleville last Thursday, North Tahoe softball coach Bill Freeman said that the proof would be in the pudding against Incline.
The proof was there Saturday, and the pudding was sweet.
North Tahoe dominated visiting Incline in Tahoe Vista, winning both games of the league doubleheader by way of the 10-run rule. Due to good hitting, great base running and some phenomenal pitching by senior Kendra Haskill, the Lakers drowned out the Highlanders 12-2 and 14-4.
Haskill, who seemed to have Incline’s number, as well as some wickedly fast pitches, threw for the entirety of both games.
Freeman said that he intended to pitch Haskill the first game and then use his other senior pitcher, Katie Freeman, in the second.
But after Haskill’s 10-strikeout performance in Game 1, Freeman met with the two pitchers and both were OK with Haskill taking the circle in the second game.
“Kendra was phenomenal,” Freeman said after the first game. “She’s on fire.”
While the senior pitcher did seem to tire slightly in the second game, she did not falter and kept Incline batters at bay, throwing through the close of the game.
Freeman said that focus, a serious attitude and drive were the keys to Saturday’s success.
“The girls are starting to realize they can play softball.” Freeman said.
Beside solid defense and great base management from North Tahoe, the Laker bats where alive as well.
Madi Walther and Shea Mesa both tallied two hits in the first game ” including a double from Mesa.
Haskill, Christina Lane and Angela Jimenez all got one hit, as well as Katie Freeman, who put up a deep triple.
It was North Tahoe’s baserunning that sealed the deal for them, however.
With a 11-2 score in the top of the sixth inning, Katie Freeman was walked with Mesa on third. Freeman stole second base on the walk, attracting a throw by Incline pitcher Ashley Ford. As Ford threw the ball to second, Mesa ran home for the winning run.
North Tahoe would take advantage of the same play multiple times throughout the second game as well.
Game 2 saw a little more life from the Highlanders, who went up 2-0 in the first inning.
It only took a five-run second-inning rally from the Lakers to take the lead back.
While North Tahoe did well to capitalize, it was suspect Incline pitching and throwing errors on steals that led to many of the North Tahoe’s runs.
The Lakers’ defense remained solid on similar plays.
In the top of the sixth inning, up by nine runs with no outs and the bases loaded, North Tahoe got out of a jam when Haskill fielded a grounder and made the force out at home for the first out.
Catcher Shea Mesa then converted a dynamite double play, protecting home on a steal and then making the throw to third on a steal from second for the third out.
Seeming fed up and ready to clinch the win, the Lakers’ Alyssa McElwain stole third and didn’t seem to care about where the passed ball was, as without hesitation she took home for the 10-run victory.
North Tahoe is now 2-12 in Northern 3A league play this season. Incline is 0-14.
North Tahoe takes on Whittell on Monday at 4 p.m. before facing Loyalton on Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. Silver Stage comes to Tahoe on Thursday for a 3:30 p.m. contest. North Tahoe then hosts Truckee for the final league doubleheader of the season Saturday at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. All games are scheduled at North Tahoe Regional Park in Tahoe Vista.