As recent Nobel Prize winner Bob Dylan might say: The answer, my friends, is blowing in the wind.
Sierra Vista’s softball team was able to find a way to score a run through the strong breeze at Boulder City and topped the Eagles 1-0 on the road Friday afternoon.
The sole run came in the top of the sixth inning when senior Taylor DeGuzman pinch ran for senior Kalei Watkins, who reached base on a walk. One batter later, senior Mia Buranamonti lifted a fly ball to right field that got caught up in the swirling wind and fell to the grass for a hit, scoring DeGuzman from first base.
“I told her to go balls-out all the way and score when I put her in there,” Sierra Vista coach Raul Almaguer said. “The softball gods were in our favor, and the ball kept spinning. It worked out for us for sure.”
In the bottom half of the inning, Boulder City (14-6) found itself with the bases loaded and no one out but failed to capitalize. A popout was followed by a game-ending double play to allow Watkins to keep her shutout intact.
“She came out and did her job,” Almageur said. “Very confident in her, she’s a captain of the team. She wanted the ball and did the job right.”
The double play was not routine and confused the Boulder City fans in attendance. Sophomore Marleena Mills hit a ball to first base, and after getting the out there, the ball was thrown home, where the umpire ruled senior Alea Lehr overran the plate and was then tagged out to end the inning.
Watkins went the full seven innings for Sierra Vista (10-1) and struck out nine while allowing four hits.
On the other side of the pitching duel, Boulder City junior Bailey Bennett-Jordan alos struck out nine with four hits and a walk in a losing effort.
The wind blowing in from left field was a factor throughout and made it difficult for both teams’ outfielders. The Mountain Lions were not caught off guard by it.
“Actually, we expected that,” Almaguer said. “Two years ago, it was always blowing from center to home. We basically assumed the wind would be similar today.”
The one-loss Mountain Lions were not in need of a boost in their momentum, but taking a win on the road against another one of the top teams in Southern Nevada doesn’t hurt after losing to Boulder City in last year’s Class 3A playoffs.
“We felt we had a good, strong team, maybe better,” Almageur said. “We just take it one game at a time, absolutely. We don’t take anything for granted and we’re going to go out and play the Vista softball way and play aggressively on the base paths and swing for the fence.”