Pahrump Valley softball coach Eli Armendariz had a plan going into Thursday’s winner’s bracket final of the Class 3A Southern Regional Tournament against host Boulder City.
That plan, to go as he called it “pitching by committee,” in hopes of keeping the Eagles off balance.
Well, the Trojans only needed two pitchers, as the duo of Krysta Toomer and Amaya Mendoza did enough against the Eagles.
Toomer held the Eagles to just a run over the first four innings, and Mendoza yielded an unearned run over the final three frames, as Pahrump Valley earned a 5-2 victory, sending the Trojans to their first state tournament since 2014.
The Eagles fall to the losers’ bracket, and will need a win on Friday to get another shot at Pahrump in Saturday’s championship game. Moapa Valley (18-11) plays Chaparral (14-9) at 2 p.m. on Friday at Tech, with the winner facing Boulder City at 4:30 p.m.
“We really wanted to use three pitchers in the game,” Armendariz said. “However, the opportunity never presented itself. It’s a great feeling going back to state, these kids certainly deserve it.”
Pahrump set the tempo early, by scoring three runs in the first inning against Boulder City starter Bailey Bennett-Jordan. Skylar Lauver and Evandy Murphy opened the game with back-to-back singles. After a stolen base, Jordan Taylor hit a ball to third baseman Lily Osman, but her throw sailed over first, and both runners scored. Egan eventually scored on another Boulder City error, and the Trojans had a 3-0 lead.
“Getting the lead early was very important,” Armendariz said. “That put all the pressure on Boulder City to not only continue to play defense, but now trying to manufacture runs.”
The Eagles had opportunities, but couldn’t cash, as Boulder City left 11 runners on base.
“Today, we simply hit the ball right at people at the biggest times,” Boulder City coach Angelica Moorhead said. “I think we put too much pressure on ourselves. All isn’t lost, we have another chance Friday to make state.”
Hailee Danneker’s RBI single in the third pushed the Pahrump lead to 4-0. Murphy added a run-scoring single in the fourth for the Trojans.
Boulder City did get on the board in the home half of the fourth, as Bennett-Jordan’s sacrifice fly to second base brought in Osman. That would be the lone run off Toomer, who scattered five hits and struck out three. Mendoza pitched the final three innings for Pahrump to get the save.
Lauver and Murphy combined for half of Pahrump’s eight hits. Ryann Reese and Micayla Gegen each had two hits for Boulder City.
Chaparral 9, Tech 1 — At Tech, Losi Brown threw a three-hitter with nine strikeouts and was 3-for-5 with two doubles and four RBIs to power the Cowboys past the Roadrunners.
Alexis Montoya and Fernanda Rivas each supplied two hits for Chaparral, which took advantage of seven errors by Tech.
Katy Orellana doubled and Cheny Park scored a run for Tech, which finished 11-8.
Moapa Valley 10, Mojave 8 — At Moapa Valley, Kessa Evans was 2-for-5 with three RBIs, and the Pirates used a nine-run fifth inning to eliminate the Rattlers.
Kaitlyn Anderson supplied two hits and two RBIs for Moapa Valley, which got two hits apiece from Emilie Barraza and Sierra Staheli.
Jessica Ortiz, Jesika Smith and Anastasia Evans each had two hits to pace Mojave (14-7).