Softball squad falls one run short of AAA title game; Maes fires no-hitter as Truckee finishes third in state tourney
Rebounding from an opening-round loss to Bishop Manogue and near elimination by arch-rival North Tahoe, the Tahoe-Truckee High School girls’ varsity softball team started hitting its stride on the second and third days of the state AAA softball tournament and came within one run of advancing to the championship game. The Wolverines finished with their best finish in school history – a third place in state behind only Boulder City and White Pine.
Following the first round 3-2 loss to Manogue which sent Truckee to the losers’ bracket of the tournament, the Wolverines fell behind 5-2 to the Lakers in their second game in Mesquite, but the team finally broke out of its hitting slump and scored nine runs in the sixth and seventh innings to eliminate North Tahoe, 11-6.
Two wins Friday
Truckee pitching ace Brooke Maes found her groove in the next game Friday against nemesis Spring Creek, which had downed the Wolverines twice in the Division I tournament May 17 to claim the league’s No. 1 seed. Maes threw a no-hitter to spark an 11-0 victory that moved Truckee into a matchup with host-school Virgin Valley.
The combination of strong pitching from Maes and timely hitting at the plate pushed the Wolverines passed the Bulldogs 10-2.
“We didn’t play very well on Thursday,” said Truckee coach Jon Western. “But then we came back and played almost two perfect games on Friday.”
Wolverines vs. Eagles
Truckee’s third straight win in the losers’ bracket sent the Wolverines into the semi-finals against Boulder City. The battle for the right to face White Pine for the state championship was on the line and proved to be a tight ballgame.
With the Eagles ahead 2-0 going into the seventh inning, Truckee was down to its final two outs. But a double by Rita Moring fueled a rally that got the Wolverines back into the game. After Moring moved to third on an error, she scored on a fielder’s choice. Monica Gadda then walked and Jessica Valle drove her in with a single to center that tied the game.
Alisha York then drew a walk and scored the go-ahead run for Truckee when Sarah Jones singled up the middle, giving the Wolverines a 3-2 lead. But just three outs away from the final, the Wolverines couldn’t hold off the Eagles. Consecutive bunt singles followed by an error produced an Eagle run that tied the score at 3-3.
With the winning run on second, Misti Rice hit a grounder that the Alli Back couldn’t field from her shortstop position. The ball bounced off her glove and the winning run came around to score, giving Truckee its second loss of the tourney.
Boulder City went on to defeat White Pine 6-4 and 3-2 to claim the AAA title.
“It was a great comeback,” said Western. “I just wish we could have hung on to it longer.”
Maes received credit from Western for her marathon pitching effort which allowed Truckee to stay in contention for three days in the tournament.
“She was in there for every pitch for all five games,” Western said. “She did a heck of a job for us.”
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