After suffering a heartbreaking, one-run loss to Pahrump Valley on Tuesday, it took roughly 30 minutes into the bus ride home for Chaparral’s softball team to shake off the setback and break into its traditional sing-a-long.
After eliminating host Cheyenne in a Class 3A Southern Region game on Wednesday with a 16-1 victory, the Cowboys had their playlist ready by the time they left the dugout.
“Yesterday, the biggest message was that the game was over with,” Chaparral coach A.J. Coleman said. “It stung, yes, but we had to move on. We hammered that before we got on the bus. Twenty minutes into the bus ride we started to smile, and by the time we hit home it was like a karaoke party going on in the back of the bus.
“I knew at that moment we would be in good shape.”
Chaparral (13-9) benefited from not having to see Cheyenne ace Madelynn Kennedy, who threw 160 pitches in a loss at Moapa Valley on Tuesday, at the start of the game. The Cowboys raced to a 15-0 lead after two innings before Kennedy entered in the third.
“We had some success against her last year, so I knew we could score against Maddie,” Coleman said. “But I think definitely this inflated score would never have happened if she started.”
Fiona Togogae went 2-for-3 with three runs and an RBI to lead Chaparral.
Alexis Montoya scored four times, and Brandi Vara, Fernanda Rivas, and Berenise Ibanez each scored twice for the Cowboys, who drew 10 walks and five hit batsmen.
“I was really unhappy with some of the knuckleheaded baserunning errors,” Coleman said. “Too many things we lost focus with because we weren’t in a very intense game, and my big thing is always do the right thing all the time. I don’t care what the score is, I don’t care if we’re up by 20, I don’t care if we’re down by 20. They need to do what they’ve been taught to do. The mindset was ‘do what we always do.’ ”
After committing crucial errors the day before, Vara said she was focused on avenging Tuesday’s loss by dedicating the game to an injured teammate.
“I was really down after yesterday, I feel like I let my team down,” Vara said. “We could’ve got that win, but with my errors I feel like I just didn’t put in as much work as my team did and they worked really hard yesterday. My other captain (Sierra Shaw) isn’t here because she got injured yesterday, so I made sure I kept her spirit here with us in this game today.”
After a double by Victoria Rosales in the first inning, Cowboys starter Losi Brown retired 10 of the last 12 batters she faced to walk away with a four-inning, complete-game victory.
Rosales’ stroke to right-center field was the only hit Cheyenne could muster, while Maria Borrero scored the team’s lone run on a ground out by Kennedy. The Desert Shields ended their season at 10-8.
Chaparral will play at Tech (11-7) in an elimination game at 3:30 p.m. Thursday.
Pahrump Valley 8, Moapa Valley 5 — At Pahrump, Skyler Lauver went 2-for-3 with an RBI triple, and the Trojans used a three-run sixth inning to pull away from the Pirates in a winners’ bracket semifinal.
Evandy Murphy had two hits and an RBI, and Jackie Stobbe supplied an RBI double for Pahrump Valley. Amaya Mendoza earned the win in relief for the Trojans (24-7), who will meet host Boulder City (23-7) in the winner’s bracket final at 3:30 p.m.
Sierra Staheli had two hits to lead the Pirates.
Kessa Evans added an RBI single for Moapa Valley (17-11), which hosts Mojave (13-7) in an elimination game at 3:30 p.m. Thursday.
Boulder City 11, Tech 1 — At Boulder City, Ryann Reese was 4-for-4 with two runs as the Eagles topped the Roadrunners in five innings in a winners’ bracket semifinal.
Jordan Moorhead, Ashley Wishard and Ellie Ramsey each went 2-for-4, and Marleena Mills and Lily Osman each drove in three runs for Boulder City.
Avery Rayos was 2-for-3 for Tech.
Mojave 11, Western 1 — At Mojave, the Rattlers scored eight runs in the sixth inning to invoke the mercy rule and eliminate the Warriors (6-13).
Ariel Wilson allowed one run in five innings to pick up the victory.