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Softball takes Carson championship

Lara Mullin, Sierra Sun

On Monday, April 16, the Wolverine ladies’ softball team showed the depth of their bench and skill as they emerged as the champions in the Carson City tournament, despite being without members of their starting line-up due to Spring Break.

In their first match-up against Fallon, the Wolverines played eight incredibly strong defensive innings to pull out a 2-1 tie-breaker win. Heather Shove and Amber Harder split shifts on the mound, each holding for four innings and effectively keeping Fallon at bay.

Three hits by Teal Cutter and two each by Julie Turner and Julie Hill were enough to bring in the winning run for Truckee, as they advanced into game two against Spring Creek.

The TNT ladies have fallen victim to the Spartans two times this season and entered the game looking to even the score. Twelve strike-outs by Shove and triples by Shove and Turner fueled the rally cries of the Wolverine bench, as they stomped the Spartans 8-0 in a decisive win.

Julie Hill was 3 for 3 at the plate against the Spartans, adding to her already impressive season average at bat.

In the final game of the tournament, the Wolverines faced the home team in a tough game after a long day. Shove once again dominated on the mound with 11 strike-outs and Jessie Turner remained a force behind the plate, catching for absentee starter Vanessa Ramirez.

“The girls played excellent. I could not have asked for more of them because they dominated like I know they can,” said Coach Jack Howard.

Truckee took home a 4-2 win over Carson City and the tournament title – a boost that the team needed after disappointing losses earlier this month.

On Tuesday afternoon, the Wolverines reconvened at home against the Dust Devils in a blowout 13-3 victory. Having already faced Dayton three times this season, the win did not add to the Wolverines’ league stats, yet served to infuse the TNT line-up with confidence heading into the last games of the season.

Amber Harder manned the mound for the entire seven innings, successfully deflating several Dust Devil rally attempts. While Dayton drove in the first run of the game, it was a short-lived lead once the Wolverines visited the plate. In the first inning, a double by Heather Shove drove in Vanessa Ramirez to tie the game at one apiece. Teal Cutter added a hit and RBI to put the score at 2-1 before the Wolverines were retired to the field.

Strong defensive play from both benches and solid pitching presence kept the game tight until the bottom of the fourth when the Truckee bench went wild.

Doubles by Shove and Jessie Turner and hits by Teal Cutter, Vanessa Ramirez and half of the TNT line-up not only forced a Dayton meeting on the mound, but drove in eight runs, leaving the Devils in the dust.

Coach Jack Howard seized the opportunity to replace his starters with younger members of the team, giving every member of the Wolverine roster playing time.

Despite this change, Truckee continued to play tough ball and held Dayton through the last two innings to two hits. A sensational center field catch by Teal Cutter and one more run for the Wolverines sealed the win in the sixth inning to end the day.

The ladies’ varsity team will play their last regular season game on the road this Saturday against Lowry before closing out the season with two games at home next week on Wednesday and Saturday.

Baseball

The pitching combo of Truckee’s TJ Dwyer and Paul Smith finished off the Grizzlies in a swift 11-2 victory at the Regional Park Monday.

A Wolverine fielding error in the first minutes of play resulted in an early 1-0 lead for Loyalton, but the TNT bench did not let the dust settle for very long. Coach Jason Estabrook’s packed line-up drove home two – retiring to the second inning with a one run lead.

Dwyer squashed rally efforts by the Grizzlies in the top of the second, delivering two strike-outs for a quick “three up, three down” and a scoreless inning. Paul Smith palmed the ball in the third, giving up one run to tie the game 2-2, as the hungry Wolverines once again returned to the plate.

Gary Cook, the team’s current leader with a .373 batting average, swung for a lead-off triple to rouse the Wolverine bench.

Two doubles and two Truckee runs later, the Grizzlies were clawing at their bullpen for some relief from the heat. A pitching change did not slow the Truckee train however, as TNT upped the score to 7-2.

With bases loaded, Loyalton’s pitcher put together a nice gift for his opponent in the form of a walk – resulting in one more run for the Wolverines. Struggling to close out the third inning in the face of heavy hitting by Smith, Dave Larson and Nick Rado, the defeated Grizzlies retired to the dugout six runs down.

Smith followed Dwyer’s practice of shutting down the first three batters in the fourth, keeping the momentum flowing despite errors on the scoreboard that led to confusion on both sides of the field.

In the bottom of the sixth, the Wolverines finished off their victim with three more runs driven in by Billy Wrenn, Brad Sauser and a homer by Paul Smith who was 3 for 4 for the day. Truckee ended the day ready for their game against Lowry in Winnemucca on Saturday.

The varsity boys’ team is currently 10-12 for the season, and will return to home field next week for games against Manogue and North Tahoe.


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