Truckee softball opens season in Yerington
After a three-game tournament last weekend, the Truckee softball team is still searching for their first win of the season.
The Wolverines opened the year with a doubleheader in Yerington, Nevada, on March 9, and were defeated 15-0 by Sparks and 8-0 against Dayton.
Truckee then played Bishop Union the following day and fell 13-7. Senior Stephanie Randall led the Wolverines in the game with a pair of RBIs. Sophomore McKenna Purdy finished with two hits and an RBI. Junior Adriana Salas also knocked in a run for the team.
After three games, Purdy leads Truckee with a team-high four hits.
The Wolverines (0-3, 0-0 Northern League) will look for their first win of the season on March 16, when the team rematches Dayton. The game is scheduled to be Truckee’s home opener, but will be subject to weather and field conditions.
The Truckee junior varsity softball team also traveled to Yerington on Friday and Saturday for their annual warm-up tournament. Due to weather conditions in Truckee, the games were the first time the team has played on dirt all year.
After only being able to practice in the gym leading up to the game, the girls struggled in the home opener, according to Coach Pat Mckechnie, and were defeated by Bishop Union.
In her first high school appearance in the circle, sophomore Ashlyn Christensen initially struggled to find the strike zone, giving up seven runs in the first inning.
The Wolverines were able to scrap together two runs in each of their three innings, but Bishop plated another 10 in their half of the third en route to a 20-6 victory.
Truckee then matched up with league foe Sparks in Friday’s second game. The Railroaders led off the game with two runs in the first, while the Wolverines scored five in the bottom half. Sophomore Haley Hames did most of the work on the mound for Truckee, going 2 2/3s innings as the only Truckee player with any high school pitching experience.
The two teams would trade the lead nearly every inning until Truckee found itself down 12-11 in the bottom of the third and last inning because of the tournament time limit on games. With the bases loaded and two outs, Freshman Natalie Richards came to the plate and worked the count full.
Richards would swing at a dropped third strike and take off running to first. As the Sparks catcher threw the ball to first in an attempt to force Richards out, Wolverines runners from second and third scored to give Truckee the 13-12 walk-off victory and some momentum heading into Saturday.
During the next game, Oasis Academy’s starting pitcher Izzy Martinez showed she was clearly in a class of her own. The senior pitcher would fan 10 Wolverine batters in four innings, while yielding just four hits and two runs in the 19-2 Bighorn victory. Richards, another rookie pitcher for Truckee, would go 2 2/3s innings, but was still working on her form just two weeks into her pitching career.
The tournament finale would see Truckee knock off host Yerington 12-11. The Lions beat the Wolverines twice in last year’s tournament.
Sophomore Tess Anderson would take the circle and go 3 1/3 innings for Truckee. In another back and forth contest, Yerington found itself hitting in the top of the fourth and final inning, down by one with one out and two runners in scoring position. Truckee shortstop Richards would snag a line drive and flip the ball to Hames at third to turn Truckee’s second double play of the day and secure the victory.
The team finished the weekend with 26 hits and 33 runs over the four games. Christensen lead the Wolverines with seven hits, with Anderson adding four, and Charity Ashworth and Zaira Mora coming up with three each.
Truckee’s defense is likely to come around as they get more practice time outdoors, but the key to this season may be in their pitching, currently at a developmental level.
Truckee will begin league play on March 20 at Dayton.
Junior Varsity Coach Pat McKechnie contributed to this report.
Justin Scacco is a reporter for the Truckee Sun. Contact him at email@example.com.