Boulder City softball coach Angelica Moorhead told her team she wanted to celebrate her birthday today by playing for the Division I-A Southern Region title.
The Eagles made their coach’s birthday wish come true after plating 11 runs in the first two innings against Faith Lutheran and then hanging on for a 16-11 win.
Boulder City (25-6) advances to meet Pahrump Valley (22-13) in the title game at noon Saturday at Faith Lutheran. The Eagles must beat the Trojans twice to win the region crown, but both teams will advance to next week’s state tournament.
“I was not relieved until that third out was made in the seventh inning,” Moorhead said. “Faith Lutheran is a tough ball club, and we have a knack of losing to these guys with two outs in the seventh inning. No one wanted to go home today. We all wanted to go to Reno and be playing (Saturday).”
The Eagles took control of the game early, stringing together four singles and scoring three times in the top of the first inning. Summer Smith provided the big hit with a two-RBI single. In the top of second, the Eagles exploded for eight runs.
Despite trailing 11-1, the Crusaders (22-14) kept chipping away at the Eagles’ lead. Lauryn Lipe and Cheyenne Kidd drove in two runs with RBI singles in the third, and Lipe hit a grand slam in the fourth to cut the Eagles lead to 11-7. Lipe hit a solo home run in the seventh inning, finishing the day with six RBIs.
However, Mikaela Brown came on in relief of starting pitcher Charlene Masterson with two outs in the fourth and she quelled the rally.
Brown also provided a spark for the Eagles offense with a two-RBI double to extend Boulder City’s lead to 13-7 in the fifth inning.
“Mikaela really did a great job,” Moorhead said. “She is a clutch player for me, but also Charlie, Alyssa Ybarra and Jessica Embro had some key hits and drove in some runs for us. Summer Smith also stepped up and played great. She doesn’t play all the time, but she had a great day.”
“In order to win (Saturday), we have to do what we did today – hit the ball and play good defense,” Moorhead said. “
Faith Lutheran 8, Tech 0 — Haley Jack tossed a three-hitter and struck out nine as the Crusaders eliminated the Roadrunners.
Samantha Jack was 2-for-4 with a double, an RBI and two runs scored. Mosie Foley went 1-1 with two RBIs, and Alex Wright went 2-4 with a run scored for Faith Lutheran.
Ashley Ramsey went 1-for-3 with a double for the Roadrunners (15-9), who had only one runner reach third base.