By Lukas Eggen Ely Times Staff Writer
The White Pine High School softball (18-8) team bounced back from three losses to Elko by scoring a combined 38 runs in three wins against Spring Creek (17-7, 11-1 and 10-8). White Pine recorded 29 hits during the series.
“Offensively we were very patient,” coach Krystal Smith said. “Spring Creek’s starting pitcher struggled throwing strikes, so we talked about making her throw to us and not helping her out by chasing poor pitches. We earned several walks, showing our discipline and patience at the plate. I was also extremely proud of our fight. It’s often difficult to find yourself down five runs after the first inning and continue to fight your way back into the game. We were resilient as a team.”
The Ladycats saw several standout performances both on the mound and at the plate as White Pine took three games as it looks to get the No. 2 seed headed into the playoffs.
“Alli Huntington pitched the best I’ve ever seen her pitch,” Smith said. “She threw both games on Saturday, giving up only two hits in the first game. She stifled their offense and our defense played well behind her. She was nearly equally effective the second game, giving up more hits, but using her change-up to keep hitters off-balance. Offensively, Jane Murdock hit a grand slam, and Bailey Moore hit a 2-run homerun. Jane continues to see the ball well. She solidifies the middle of our line-up. As a team we were able to string hits together.”
White Pine will play at West Wendover on Friday to close out its regular season. Smith said the Ladycats must be patient at the plate and get off to a quick start as it looks to end the regular season on a high note.
“We’ve been known to get away from our hitting fundamentals when we see slower pitchers, so that will be our major focus,” Smith said. “I’m looking for my girls to get off to a quick start and to play to our level of softball. We have a few defensive areas to clean up and some different situational defenses we’d like to work on. This will be our week for that.”
White Pine will host the play-in games next Friday and will have its senior day on Saturday. But before it gets there, Smith wants her team to have more momentum headed into the post season.
“With the point system, wins are very important,” Smith said. “We’d like to solidify the second seed in the playoffs, but even more important than that is staying healthy and mentally focused. Many of these girls have been playing sports continually since August, so it’s necessary for them to have focused minds and healthy bodies. As of right now, I feel we’re in pretty good shape.”
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