Wild weekend: Softball makes up ten runs to even 3A league record
On Saturday versus Yerington, Alycia Smith’s first RBI of game two in the fourth inning put some life into her Truckee teammates, but her final RBI of the day capped a remarkable 10-run Truckee comeback.
Smith’s seventh-inning single gave Truckee’s varsity softball team a 13-12 victory and evened its Northern 3A record at 4-4, completing a doubleheader sweep with six league games remaining.
Down 10-0 coming up to bat in the fourth, Truckee desperately needed to get something going when Smith lined a single that scored Dani Turner, who had tripled earlier in the inning. After Jenny Geresy hit in Smith and reached base with one of her four hits on the day, she scored on a wild pitch to cut the deficit to 10-3.
Truckee shortstop Amber Harder had relieved pitcher Kaley White in the third inning and inherited a bases-loaded situation, with Yerington ahead 3-0 at the time. After a few fly balls were misjudged by Truckee outfielders, it appeared the route was on as Yerington finished the inning with a 9-0 lead. Yerington added another run in its half of the fourth courtesy of a Truckee error to take a double-digit lead.
Harder settled down to pitch a scoreless fifth, and that’s when the Wolverines pulled out their hitting sticks, literally.
“I said to the team, ‘Nobody’s using their own bats from now on,'” said first-year Truckee varsity head coach Mitch Brown. “‘You’re going to use these (composite Miken bats that were bought for the team by the school).'”
Yerington’s defense had played solid through the first game and most of the second, but Brown knew the ball comes off the Miken bats a lot faster, which he thought would put more pressure on the Yerington defense.
He was right. After Harder drove a RBI double up against the left field fence to make the score 10-4, Smith lined a single through the right side of the infield to add another two runs on the scoreboard. Geresy then hit a ball that caromed off the third baseman’s mit to pull the Wolverines within three. With one out, White gave the ball a good ride to center field, but it was caught for the second out.
Then it was the birthday girl’s turn to shine. Erica Rice, who celebrated her birthday with teammates after the game, hit a single through the right side of the infield to make it 10-9. Corina Mincey then hit a ball that gave the shortstop trouble, and the game was knotted up at 10.
“The shortstop wasn’t missing anything before we used those bats, but she was having trouble making plays later in the game,” Brown said.
Yerington escaped the inning after Harder hit a line drive to center field that was caught for the third out. The Lions struck back in the top half of the inning with a two-run triple that put them ahead 12-10. Truckee or Yerington could not muster a run in their next at-bats, which set the stage for the conclusion of Truckee’s miraculous comeback in its last at-bat.
With the bases loaded and one out, the Yerington pitcher fielded a slow-roller and threw home for the force out. There was no chance to get the Truckee runner at first, but the Yerington catcher made an ill-advised throw that skipped by the first baseman and trickled into right field.
Harder hustled around third and beat the throw from right field, sliding in to tie the game at 12. Smith then hit a hard groundball through the left side of the infield to send Truckee home with its eighth win of 2004 in brisk temperatures that hovered in the mid-40s all day.
“This shows the type of heart that this team has,” Brown said after the game. About the comeback, he laughed, “Don’t awake the beast,” mentioning that some Yerington fans had made some early-game comments that fired up his team.
Game one was just as dramatic, as White’s RBI single in extra innings gave Truckee a 6-5 victory. White had pitched all eight innings for the win, and her single knocked in Smith who had stole second to get into scoring position. Smith went 5 for 8 with a double, triple and 3 RBIs on the day.
Truckee suffered a major setback in game one when Julie Rohrback was hurt sliding into third. At the time of her injury, which forced Truckee to play with eight the remainder of the day, Rohrback had a double, triple and two RBIs. X-rays came up negative, and Brown said Rohrback should be in the lineup when Truckee plays at Dayton on Thursday, April 20, in a doubleheader starting at 1 p.m.
The comeback magic was nothing new to Truckee this week. It came back from a 9-0 deficit at Golden Sierra in an April 13 non-league matchup to win 17-15. Conditions were even more adverse in that game.
“We only had eight (players) the entire game Ð five varsity players and three JV players,” Brown said, who was missing a score of players gone on spring break vacation. “That showed a lot of gumption. Next year there isn’t going to be all these vacations.”
Brown said he would like to see his team win four out of six Ð against Dayton, Lowry and North Tahoe Ð to finish the year. The top six teams in the Northern 3A earn a spot in the zone playoffs.
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