MESQUITE – So far, so good.
The Elko softball team experienced a solid showing in its preseason tournament, opening the year with a 2-1 record during the Sherm Bennett Memorial Desert Winds Classic.
The Lady Indians claimed their season opener with a 6-0 shutout win over Moapa Valley, followed with their lone loss against Legacy by a final score of 11-1 and closed the tournament with another shutout victory – running off a 12-0 win versus host Virgin Valley.
Versus Moapa Valley
Offense was hard to come by for both teams in the early stages of the Lady Indians’ first game Friday, Elko’s one-run inning in the top of the second accounting for the only run through three frames.
After going down one-two-three in the top of the first, Elko’s defense retired Moapa Valley in order in the bottom half – sophomore pitcher Rylee Ferguson tossing two strikeouts.
Senior Jacqueline Pete scored on a wild pitch in the top of the second, Elko escaping baserunners in the bottom half – catching a runner attempting to steal home and Ferguson posting another two-K frame.
In the top of the fourth, the Lady Indians plated their second run – taking a 2-0 lead as senior Kaitlyn Rizo scored on a passed ball.
Elko blew the game open in the top of the seventh.
Junior Breanna Whitted hit a one-out single, and senior courtesy runner Avery Jorgenson rolled home on a two-out base knock by sophomore Lexi Schweer.
Senior Lauryn Guenin followed with a single up the middle, sophomore Emery Lesbo was hit by a pitch and Pete cleared the ducks off the pond with a triple to center field.
In the bottom of the seventh, Whitted fired two punchouts – the game ending on a groundout to Schweer at second base.
Despite winning 6-0, Elko hit just 4-for-26 – Guenin, Schweer (RBI) and Whitted each going for a single and Pete smacking a two-run triple – but the Lady Pirates were limited to just two hits in in 25 at-bats.
Ferguson gave up two hits and struck out six batters without a walk in five innings, Whitted picking up the save with four strikeouts and one free pass over two innings of hitless ball.
ELKO – 010 100 4 – 644
MOAPA VALLEY – 000 000 0 – 021
In an 11-1 loss to Legacy, the Lady Indians scored their only run of the ballgame in the top of the first inning – doing so without a hit in the frame.
Guenin reached on an error, Lesbo was hit by a pitch and Pete drew a walk and loaded the bases – Ratliff driving in Guenin with a bases-juiced free pass on four pitches.
Legacy, a Division 4A program with an enrollment of 2,800-plus, benefitted from Elko miscues.
The Lady Indians walked four batters in the bottom of the first and gave up a two-run double, Elko giving free passes to the first-three hitters in the bottom of the second – posting five total in the inning – the Lady Longhorns plating runs on an error at third base, a wild pitch, a passed ball and an RBI single.
Legacy’s onslaught continued in the bottom of the third – plating five runs – beginning with a leadoff homer.
The Lady Longhorns added a run on in infield popup to short, another on a bases-loaded walk and two more on RBI singles.
Elko’s second and final hit came on a single by Guenin to center field, but the Lady Indians were gunned down at the plate – the game closing with an 11-1 final loss.
Guenin went 1-for-2 at the dish and scored Elko’s only run, Pete hit 1-for-1 with a single and Ratliff tallied the Lady Indians’ lone RBI with a walk.
As a team, Elko hit 2-for-14 – Legacy finishing 7-for-17 at the plate with a double and a home run.
Elko freshman pitcher Jersey Tsosie allowed six runs (three earned) on two hits over 1-2/3 innings with one strikeout and nine walks, Whitted entering in relief and giving up five runs (three earned) on five hits with one punchout and two free passes in 1-1/3 innings.
ELKO – 100 0 – 123
LEGACY – 245 X – (11)71
Versus Virgin Valley
In their tournament finale, the Lady Indians dominated the hosts from the onset – beating the Lady Bulldogs in shutout fashion by a final tally of 12-0.
Elko loaded the bases to lead off the top of the first – Schweer drawing a walk, Guenin wearing a pitch and Whitted grounding a single to left field – Schweer scoring on a sacrifice fly by Rizo.
Guenin gave the Lady Indians a 2-0 lead on a double to left by Pete, Ratliff walking to load the bases for the second time – junior Madi Murray notching an RBI with a bases-crammed free pass.
Pete scored as Lesbo was hit by a pitch, junior Dariahn Primeaux hit into a fielder’s choice – Ratliff scoring for a 5-0 lead – and Lesbo gave the Lady Indians a 6-0 advantage on an RBI base knock by Schweer to left field as Elko went through the lineup.
Ferguson tossed a one-two-three inning in the bottom half, and the Lady Indians loaded the bases in the top of the second on three singles – Whitted, Rizo, and Ratliff each going for a base knock.
An error in left field gave Whitted and Rizo free runs home, Elko grabbing an 8-0 lead.
In the top of the fourth, Pete singled to left field with one out, Ratliff drew a walk and Murray reached base on an error at shortstop – junior Caresse Basaraba earning a free pass with bases full.
Elko went up 9-0 on the run by Pete, and Ratliff was driven in by a single from Primeaux to left field for a 10-0 lead.
Murray crossed an RBI base knock by Jorgenson, and the scoring was capped by a run for Basaraba on a groundout RBI by sophomore Shyannne Wedlund.
The Lady Indians closed the Sherm Bennett Memorial Desert Winds Classic with a 2-1 record after a 12-0 victory over Virgin Valley.
Elko’s bats came to life with a 9-for-21 effort at the plate, the Lady Indians’ pitching and defense limiting the Lady Bulldogs to 3-for-16 at the dish.
Pete batted 2-for-3 with a double, scored two runs and drove in another.
Whitted hit 2-for-2 and scored two runs, and Primeaux finished with two RBIs in a 1-for-3 effort at the plate.
Ratliff crossed home twice and hit 1-for-1, Schweer also notching a hit in her only AB and scoring a run of her own.
Rizo went 1-for-2 with an RBI and a run scored, and Jorgenson drove in a run and closed 1-for-2 at the dish.
Ferguson allowed two hits over two innings with a strikeout, Whitted allowed no hits and one free pass in an inning and Tsosie gave up one knock and struck out a batter against one walk in the final frame.
ELKO – 620 4 – (12)91
VIRGIN VALLEY – 000 0 – 033
The Lady Indians will play their first series of Division 3A North softball on the road, taking on the Lady Railroaders at 2 p.m. Friday, in Sparks.
Elko will close the two-game series at noon Saturday.