By Garrett Estrada

Ely Times Staff Writer

The White Pine High softball team started its season with a tough five game lineup that spanned three days. While the team finished the games 2-3 overall, coach Krystal Smith was happy with the team’s effort against the higher division schools, especially the performance of the team’s number two pitcher Shania Hall.

“She did a phenomenal job,” Smith said. “She definitely showed that she could handle the pressure being on the mound against higher caliber teams than we will see in conference play.”

Hall pitched in three games, including a 10-0 win over Elko and a 11-6 extra innings game against division I team Las Vegas High School. Her performance over the weekend has Smith keeping an eye on her to see if she could eventually step up as the team’s number one starter.

But the game that really stood out to Smith was a loss against Barstow. Despite losing 3-1, Smith said Hall “moved the ball around well” and “ kept hitters off balance,” while the rest of the team had their best defensive performance against the hard-hitting team from California.

“It was probably our best game of the weekend,” Smith said. “Our defense was stellar. I don’t think we committed a single error in the game.”

The other two games of the weekend included a 12-1 loss to Legacy High School from Las Vegas and a 8-0 loss to Pahrump. Smith said those games served as a reminder that the team still needs plenty of improvement if they plan on getting back to the state championships this year.

“Our bats were pretty quiet,” Smith said.

Two players for the Ladycats were able to make their bats heard all weekend. Lead off hitter Amanda Allred put the team in good position by, according to Smith, getting on base after 50 percent of her at-bats. Julie Murdock also got back into her starting hitter form from last season, hitting her first home run of the year in the game against Barstow.

“It was good to see her get things going so early in the season,” Smith said of Murdock’s home run.

The Ladycats spent the week preparing to start league play on Saturday against North Tahoe.