Before they began to celebrate their second win Friday afternoon, players on Moapa Valley’s softball team had someone to call.
“We’re going to state!” the Pirates yelled at the phone held by their head coach in the dugout with Bill Scatterday on the other end of the line.
The Pirates came back to defeat Boulder City on Friday at Tech, knocking off the Sunrise League’s top seed, and punching tickets to both the Class 3A Southern Region title game and a spot in the state tournament.
Scatterday has been the scorekeeper for the Pirates for five seasons but was unable to attend Friday. He left the team this week to be with his family in Ohio after the passing of his mother-in-law.
“Right after Tuesday’s game he took a second and got really emotional and said he wanted to see this team play,” Moapa Valley coach Matt Messer said. “He said this is the best Moapa Valley team he’s seen in five years and he wanted to see them play.”
The Pirates aren’t done. Scatterday will get the chance to watch them play.
“We love him and we’re missing him so we had to give him that call and let him know we were going to state,” Messer said. “It’s more motivation for the girls.”
Moapa Valley (20-11) needed all the motivation it could get to close down the win in the final inning.
The Eagles (23-9) were just inches away from walking off with a win in the bottom of the seventh inning after loading the the bases with one out. Junior Lily Osman came to the plate for the Eagles and drilled a line drive to left field that found the edge of the Pirates’ glove. Just enough to make the catch and end the game.
“If that ball isn’t caught, then the game’s over,” Messer said. “Because that girl on second base was already running with two outs. So that was huge and won the game for us right there obviously.”
In the top of the sixth with runners on the corners and down 4-3, junior Kessa Evans lined a hit into the gap in right-center field to clear the bases and give the Pirates the margin they needed to win the game.
“Oh is there doubt? Yeah, but we have a lot of confidence in our girls that they can do it, but you never know,” Messer said. “We had a ton of confidence with the hitters we had.”
To enter the state tournament as region champions, the Pirates will have to beat Pahrump Valley (25-7) twice Saturday at Tech. The first game starts at noon with the second game, if necessary, beginning at 2 p.m.
“We’re going to go play hopefully 14 innings. We’re going to be loose and we’re just going to play our game,” Messer said. “It’s nice to punch that ticket to state and it would be wonderful to win a division championship.”
Messer says the team can play loose because of the motto they’ve had through the regional playoffs.
The same motto the team wrote on the whiteboard in its dugout.
“Why not us?”
Moapa Valley 15, Chaparral 5 — The Pirates allowed a five-run fourth inning to bring the game within one run, but responded with a seven-run inning of their own before beating the Cowboys in five innings.
Aria Messer was 3-for-3 with a triple and two RBIs for the Pirates, Emilie Barraza was 2-for-2 with a triple and two RBIs, and Sierra Staheli was 3-for-3 with a double.
Daesha Stasny pitched a complete game for the Pirates, and did not allow a run in four of her five innings.
Kessa Evans scored three times for the Pirates, and Messer, Stastny, Lainey Cornwall and Kaitlyn Anderson each scored twice.
Brandi Vara and Losi Brown each doubled for the Cowboys (14-10), and Tabitha Mabry had a pair of runs scored. Brown also struck out seven.