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DIVISION I-A SOFTBALL: Nicole Lesniak slams door, Cowboys earn state berth

Nicole Lesniak threw a four-hitter with 10 strikeouts and went 2-for-3 with an RBI Wednesday to help Chaparral’s softball team to a 3-1 win over Boulder City in the winners’ bracket final of the Division I Southern League Tournament at Faith Lutheran.

Lesniak’s RBI single in the first inning plated courtesy runner Octavia Gray and gave the Cowboys (16-10) the lead for good. Chaparral advanced to Friday’s championship round and earned a spot in the state tournament.

Boulder City (27-8) will face either Faith Lutheran (19-12) or Cheyenne (20-13-1) in the losers’ bracket final at 7 p.m. Thursday. The winner of that game will play Chaparral on Friday, and would have to win twice to claim the title.

Chaparral scored again in the fifth on a wild throw by the Eagles. Boulder City got the run back in the sixth on a two-out hit by Alex Frye, but Lesniak shut the door.

“She’s been gutsy the way she’s pitching lately,” Chaparral coach A.J. Coleman said. “It’s been outstanding to watch her pitch the last three days. She was hitting her spots tonight.

“Her confidence is as high as it can get right now, and she’s as mentally tough as can be. She’s hard to beat when she’s feeling like this.”

Megan Gunler was 2-for-3 for Chaparral.

Cheyenne 5, Pahrump Valley 2 — Vanessa Sanders went 2-for-3 with a double, a run and an RBI as the Desert Shields eliminated the Trojans (15-17).

Brittany Leeds threw a two-hitter with four strikeouts to get the win.

Cheyenne will meet Faith Lutheran at 5 p.m. Thursday.

Faith Lutheran 10, Tech 0 — Kelly Zufall went 2-for-3 with a double and three RBIs to help the Crusaders eliminate the Roadrunners (16-17) in five innings.

Claire Peck went 3-for-3 with a double, three runs and an RBI, and Mandy Young was 2-for-2 with an RBI and a run for Faith Lutheran.

Stacie Graham threw a one-hitter with six strikeouts to get the win.

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