For the majority of the season, Tech softball coach Stormy Hanson has witnessed her Roadrunners start games in a slow fashion. Tuesday, in the opening round of the Class 3A Southern Regional at Mojave, Hanson saw the same trait once again.
“I don’t know if it was nerves, or what,” Hanson said. “But this has been our motive for most of the season.”
Once the Roadrunners got going, they gave senior pitcher Gizele Cascos plenty to work with. Tech scored a pair of runs in the fifth inning, then broke the game open with a five-run sixth, as the Roadrunners stopped Mojave, 7-1.
“Once we settled down and played our game, good things happened,” said Hanson. “Sometimes, it takes a swift kick in the butt to get things working.”
That kick might have come from Chaney Park, who was inserted into the game in that all-important fifth. Park opened the inning with a double off Mojave starter Ariel Wilson. Following a sacrifice bunt from Alondra Acevedo, Katy Orellana was hit by a pitch, putting runners on the corners.
Two pitches later, Wilson uncorked a pitch that catcher Emillee Mitton couldn’t handle, allowing Park to score with Orellana moving to third. Melissa Fuller then delivered a perfect squeeze bunt, and Tech had a 2-0 lead.
The Roadrunners (11-6) added five more in the sixth, highlighted by a two-run single from Cascos. Park, Orellana and Ashlee Carratelli added RBIs for Tech.
“The bats finally got going for us,” Hanson said. “I don’t know why we start so slow, its just one of those things. I do know how bad we wanted this opening-round win.”
That also was apparent for Cascos, as Hanson calls her the team’s workhorse.
“Gizele was great today,” Hanson said. “She was focused from the beginning, and you can tell she wanted to win this game.”
Cascos struck out 11 and lost her chance at the shutout on Wilson’s two-out RBI single in the seventh.
Orellana had three hits for the Roadrunners, and Park and Carratelli each added two hits.
Tech plays at Boulder City (22-7) at 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday.
Larissa Lynn had a pair of doubles on her way to a three-hit day for the Rattlers (13-6), who host Western (6-12) in an elimination game at 3:30 p .m. on Wednesday.
Moapa Valley 10, Cheyenne 9 — At Overton, Aria Messer singled home Sierra Harding with the winning run in the bottom of the seventh as the Pirates defeated the Desert Shields.
Harding went 4-for-4 with four RBIs, and Laney Cornwall doubled and tripled for Moapa Valley (17-10), which rallied from 5-2 and 9-5 deficits. The Pirates scored five runs in the bottom of the seventh to win it. Winning pitcher Emilie Barraza helped herself with three hits.
Giovanna Bojorquez doubled twice and Danica Lund doubled and drove in two runs for Cheyenne (10-7).
Moapa Valley will travel to Pahrump Valley (23-7) at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday. The Desert Shields will host Chaparral (12-9) in an eliminatino game, also at 3:30 p.m.
Pahrump Valley 8, Chaparral 7 — At Pahrump, Taylor Eagan doubled home Jordan Eagan with the winning run in the bottom of the seventh inning, as the Trojans nipped the Cowboys.
Taylor Eagan finished 3-for-4 with three RBIs for Pahrump, which trailed 6-2 before a four-run rally in the fifth inning. Jackie Stobbe supplied a three-run triple for the Trojans.
Losi Brown smacked a solo home run for Chaparral, which got two hits apiece from Fernanda Rivas and Fiona Togogae.
Boulder City 16, Western 6 — At Boulder City, Marleena Mills was 3-for-5 with three RBIs, and winning pitcher Bailey Bennett-Jordan went 2-for-3 with a solo homer as the Eagles beat the Warriors in five innings.
Ryann Reese was 3-for-3 with three runs and two RBIs, and Jordan Moorhead went 3-for-4 with four runs for Boulder City.
Ashley Wishard had four RBIs, and Lily Osman was 2-for-2 with three RBIs for the Eagles.
Bennett-Jordan struck out 10 and allowed three earned runs in five innings to get the win.
Ariana Lawson was 2-for-2 with a run and an BI, and Jennessa Dunton was 2-for-3 with a run and an RBI for Western.