Truckee softball picks up home victory
The Truckee High softball team combined an early offensive burst with solid pitching and tight defense to hold onto a 6-5 non-league win over visiting Loyalton on Wednesday.
“It was a positive all the way around,” said Truckee coach Mitch Brown. “If we could do that against Sparks (Saturday’s opponent), and every other team we play, we’ll do all right.”
The Wolverines (5-3 Northern 3A, 7-4 overall) wasted little time building a lead for freshman pitcher Rachel Zissimos, who retired the side in order in the top half of the first inning.
Hitting in the No. 2 slot, junior utility player Annie Duner got things started in the bottom of the first with a one-out base hit. Junior center fielder Katie Reiswig followed with an RBI triple, then scored on a sacrifice bunt laid down by freshman catcher Chelsea Cordell to give Truckee a 2-0 lead.
The Wolverines were not done.
Junior right fielder Logan White kept the inning alive with a two-out base hit before Jordan Raber, who played third base, drew a walk. With runners on second and third, senior first baseman Kaitie Zusy came through in the clutch with a base hit to score a pair. Jaimee Raber, a junior taking on the designated hitter role, capped the rally and gave Truckee a 5-0 lead with a base hit that drove in Zusy.
“We started off really well,” Zusy said. … “We told ourselves we had to start hitting. Usually we start off slow, but this game we started off hitting well.”
The first-inning rally was enough to impress Brown.
“I’ve been trying to get them to start quicker,” he said of his players. “They’re usually asleep the first couple innings, but today they came out and hit the ball great.
“They came out and hit the pitches they could hit and laid off the pitches they couldn’t. And they never got down.”
The Grizzlies cut into the lead with three runs in the second by way of a Texas leaguer to shallow left, a hit batter and two infield hits. With Truckee leading 5-3, Loyalton pitcher Alexandra Shelton settled down to hold the Wolverines scoreless the next two innings.
Truckee added its sixth and final run in the fourth when senior left fielder Jenny Geresy walked to lead off the inning, stole second and, after the throw squirted past the second baseman, hustled all the way around third to beat the throw to the plate.
Junior Morgan Womack took over the pitching duties from Zissimos to start the fifth inning.
After leaving runners stranded at second and third to end the fifth, the Grizzlies put together a rally the following inning, scoring two runs on three hits and a walk to bring the score to 6-5.
It took the defensive gem of the day for Truckee to escape the inning with the lead.
With runners at first and second and two outs, Loyalton catcher Codi Carmichael hit a grounder down the third baseline and into the outfield. Geresy scooped it up on the run and fired a strike to senior shortstop Kelly Stephens, who took the relay in perfect alignment and gunned another strike to Cordell, who applied the tag at the plate for the third out.
Womack then retired the side, one-two-three, in the top of the seventh to end the game.
“I thought we did pretty good. … [The win was] definitely a confidence booster,” said Womack, who collected two strikeouts and walked one batter in three innings.
Zissimos in four innings of work struck out three while walking two.
Brown gave credit to his pitchers for getting the job done on the mound while helping motivate teammates with their composure.
“Both pitchers came out with fire in their eyes and smiles on their faces,” the coach said. “When the team sees that, they respond.”
Reiswig led the way at the plate, going 3-for-3 with a triple, two stolen bases, two RBIs and a run. Zusy went 2-for-3 with a run and RBI, Stephens was 2-for-4 with two bunt singles and three stolen bases, Cordell 1-for-3 with a run, White 1-for-3 with a run and RBI and Jaime Raber 1-for-3 with an RBI.
The Wolverines host Sparks for a doubleheader Saturday at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. The Truckee baseball team plays at the same time. Both doubleheaders will be played on the Truckee High ball fields.