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3A STATE: Boulder City waits patiently through extra innings to end 11-year drought

RENO — Boulder City had waited 11 years to celebrate a state softball championship, so a few extra innings didn’t seem so bad.

Brittany Patt scored on a passed ball with two outs in the bottom of the 10th inning Saturday to give the Eagles a 3-2 victory over Dayton in the Class 3A state title game at Bishop Manogue High.

Boulder City (34-2) sent its eight seniors off with the program’s first 3A state championship since 1999 and eighth overall.

“It’s been a long time, 11 years,” Boulder City coach Bruce Reid said. “We talk about each class that’s won it and the tradition there. To win one, you become part of that tradition. You become a living legend of the high school.”

Patt’s two-out single began the 10th-inning surge. She advanced to third on a double by Alison Rants before sliding into home for the win on the passed ball.

“The girls were making fun of me because I never slide, so they pummeled me when I was on the ground,” said Patt, a senior center fielder. “They were like, ‘You slid!’”

The Eagles took a 2-0 lead in the third inning, but the Dust Devils (17-14) answered with runs in the fourth and sixth to tie the game.

With occasional snow flurries falling, Boulder City played errorless defense.

It was the opposite of last season, when the Eagles committed seven errors in a 9-1 loss to Fernley in the state final, when Boulder City needed only a doubleheader split to capture the crown.

Again, Dayton would have needed to beat Boulder City twice to win the championship, and the Eagles were determined to avoid repeating the painful memory.

“Last year, the second game got us down a bit,” sophomore pitcher Karlee Koopman said. “It was important to get this right away.”

Koopman gave up seven hits and one walk with eight strikeouts. She was the winning pitcher in all three of the Eagles’ state tournament victories.

“Pitching three games is tough,” Patt said. “We were hoping that (Koopman) would pull through, and we backed her up all the way.”

Patt had two hits, including an RBI triple, and scored two runs for Boulder City. Koopman and Rants doubled for the Eagles.
 
Natasha Wells led off the top of the fourth with a solo home run to center field for Dayton.

Boulder City closed the season on a 21-game winning streak, including five victories over 4A opponents. But none felt sweeter than Saturday’s state clincher.

“This moment is amazing,” Patt said. “We love each other as a team. I think the big thing is that we’ve been here for so long. We’ve been a family.”

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