With one senior and a host of freshmen on its roster, little has come easily for Bonanza’s softball team this season.
The Bengals haven’t won or lost more than three games in a row and seem to find a way to turn most games into nail-biters.
Such was the case Monday.
Potentially one swing away from beating visiting Pahrump Valley by the run rule in the bottom of the sixth inning, Bonanza (10-8, 6-3 Southwest) still led 8-1 with the bases empty and two outs in the top of the seventh.
And held on for dear life.
The Trojans (9-11, 4-4) strung together six straight hits and had the possible tying run at the plate before the Bengals escaped with an 8-6 win.
“It’s been stressful, but we’ve been coming out on top, and that’s big,” said Bonanza coach Dusti Winward, who has seven freshmen on a 12-player roster. “They need to know that they can win these games.”
Though they stranded 11 runners, the Bengals appeared to be in firm control after scoring twice in the bottom of the first inning and tacking on a run in the third and two more in the fourth.
Bonanza then got a two-run single from Megan Rabe and an RBI single from Emily Osborn in the sixth inning to lead 8-1 and had runners at second and third with one out, needing three runs to end the game on the mercy rule.
Bonanza’s Taylor Barylsky got a flyout and a strikeout to start the seventh before consecutive singles by Whitney Roderick, Sara Zinnecker, Taylor Burby, Miranda Monje and Ashley Hosino and a two-run triple from Petra Beighley brought the Trojans within two runs.
Barylsky got Taylor Ball to foul out on a 2-0 pitch to end the game.
“The freshmen are getting a little more experience every game,” Winward said. “We still make freshman mistakes, but they’re getting better.”
The Bengals, who were without lone senior Osborn last week because of illness, had played three straight one-run games. Osborn came off the bench to go 2-for-4 with two RBIs Monday.
Taylor Gordy was 3-for-5 and Tori Lind went 2-for-4 and scored four runs for Bonanza, which maintained its grip on fourth place in the Southwest.
Beighley was 3-for-5 with a triple and a double and Zinnecker went 3-for-4 with a double and an RBI for the Trojans, who had 15 hits and also stranded 11.