The Lady Dawgs celebrate moving onto Regional Championship and qualifying for State. (Photo: YoshiYama)
VVHS, Mesquite, NV-
Three errors put the Lady Dawgs down for the first time in 29 games, but they held strong and pawed back to win with a sixth-inning offensive attack over the Boulder City Eagles, 8-6. The win moves them into the NIAA 3A Southern Regional Championship and qualifies them for the NIAA 3A State Playoff Tournament.
The Bulldogs struck first in the bottom of the first inning, leading by 1 after 1. Then the Lady Dawgs fell down fast on Wednesday afternoon, May 11th, to the Lady Eagles who flew high, scoring 1 in the second and 5 in the 3rd inning. In the mid 3rd inning, the Bulldogs found themselves in a predicament that they had not seen for the majority of the season… behind on the scoreboard.
Down 6-2, the Bulldogs had Natalie Plancarte come to the plate and hit a solid single into centerfield. The next batter was Brooklyn Montoya who was perfect at the plate and hit a single into the same area, putting runners on 1st and 2nd bases. This allowed for the pitcher Riley Price to come to bat with no outs and nail another hit into centerfield which fell just short of the fence and allowed for 2 to score and find herself on second base for a double. The Lady Dawgs scored one more and left the score after 3 innings, 6-5 in favor of the Eagles.
What followed was a defensive struggle as both sides hold each other to scoreless innings for the 4th and 5th innings. Top of the 6th with runners in scoring position and two outs, the Eagles found the inning being suddenly ended when one runner ran into Reggi Frei during the course of fielding the hit, an automatic out. Going into the bottom of the 6th within 1-1/2 innings left in the game, the Lady Dawgs found themselves down by one.
With the chance of winning looking bleaker, the Green and White put together a riled-up push of aggressiveness that paid off. With one on base, Plancarte came through again, nailing a double that scored one to tie the game, 6-6. Then with Frei on 3rd, the Boulder City pitcher threw a wild pitch which resulted in Frei stealing home to take the lead 7-6. Brooklyn Montoya hit in the last score by a left-line drive.
One last chance, the Eagles found themselves down 8-6, but in four batters, three outs were recorded and the Lady Dawgs were celebrating.
Natalie Plancarte was the hero of the game as her hits came at the right moments, hitting a .500 batting average and scoring two RBIs. Brooklyn Montoya and Reggi Frei also hit perfectly at the plate, 1.00 BA with 1 RBIs each.
Pitching-wise Riley Price found the windy start to be rough, but she picked up at the end, finishing with 12 strikeouts. In seven innings, she allowed 7 hits and 4 BBs.
Defensively, Brooklyn Montoya was outstanding turning 13 total chances of plays into 13 outs, as well as catching one base stealer. Evia Toone also recorded a deep flyout catch needed in the last inning to help secure the win along with a throw to Ana Tausinga from Riley Price for the last out.
The Bulldogs now move into the NIAA Regional Championship and get one day off, waiting for the results of the Consolation bracket. The championship game will be Friday at 4:00 pm PST on the softball field for VVHS.
“We knew it would be a battle,” said VVHS Head Coach Travis Griffiths. “We got down, but we fought back. I am beyond proud of the girls. They showed a lot of character and heart today.”
In other regional play, Moapa Valley advanced due to a forfeit after SLAM Nevada forfeited due to a lack of athletes from illness. Pahrump Valley beat Clark 19-3.
Today, Thursday, Moapa Valley will play Pahrump Valley at 2:00 pm at Boulder City and then immediately following the winner will play Boulder City for the Regional Semi-finals. The winner between Boulder City and Moapa Valley/Pahrump Valley will meet Virgin Valley for the championship on Friday.
The State Playoffs Tournament will be played up at Fernley High School next week, May 19-21, 2022.
More info can be found at www.niaa.com about the state tournament.