Indian Springs and Tonopah certainly know each other well, since Friday’s meeting at the Class 1A state tournament was their fifth of the season.
And even though the Thunderbirds did just enough in their 4-3 win over the Muckers at Sunrise Mountain, it won’t be their last encounter this weekend.
But the good news for Indian Springs is that the Thunderbirds are one win away from their first crown.
“Its very exciting to be in this position,” Indian Springs coach Lynn Dale said. “We didn’t hit the ball all that well today, but we got the job done. I have this feeling that this won’t be the last time we see Tonopah this weekend.”
Dale was correct, as Tonopah won later Friday to get to today’s title game. The two teams play again at 10 a.m. at Sunrise Mountain. If Tonopah wins that game, a second contest would be played to determine the champion in the double-elimination tournament.
Tonopah took an early 2-0 lead in Friday’s matchup with a pair of runs in the opening inning. Deanna Van Poucke, who led the Muckers with two of her team’s four hits, singled home a run to lead the rally.
The Thunderbirds answered with all four of their runs in the third inning, spearheaded by two-run singles from both Baylee McCormick and Brandi Bryl.
Bryl did the rest for Indian Springs, holding the Muckers to two hits after the first inning. Bryl struck out five in the complete game performance.
“We certainly got solid pitching and solid defense today,” Dale said. “That’s what you need in close games like today, to not have your pitching or defense break down. We just need our bats to get going.”
Britney Klapper was the tough-luck loser for Tonopah, striking out 10. Leadoff hitter Harley Maughan scored twice for the Muckers.
Tonopah 13, Carlin 2 — Andrea Eiseman’s leadoff homer in the second sparked a four-run inning to help the Muckers roll past the Railroaders in a five-inning losers’ bracket final.
Muckers coach Ken Jose said his players responded well in the elimination situation.
“We had our backs against the wall,” he said. “And we finally started hitting the ball harder.”
Alli Friel delivered the killer blow, a two-out, three-run triple in the fifth that put Tonopah in position to win it on the 10-run rule.
Sydney Maughan went 2-for-2 with a walk to help the Muckers, who jumped out to an 8-0 second inning lead. Teammate Elaina Dunn went 2-for-4.
Carlin 12, Wells 6 — Brianne Weaser opened the sixth inning with a solo homer, igniting a five-run surge that lifted the Railroaders into the losers’ bracket final.
Kayla Anthony and Melinda Harris each went 3-for-5 to lead Carlin.