By Garrett Estrada
Ely Times Staff Writer
It only took two innings for White Pine High School softball team’s coach Krystal Smith to feel comfortable pulling the varsity players out of the game. After the team scored 13 runs in an hour long first inning in their home game against the North Tahoe Lakers on Saturday, Smith felt like it would be a good time to get the junior variety squad some playing time.
“After about the second inning I put in the JV players to get them some playing time and they really held their own for being new to the softball field,” Smith said. “They’ve only had a short number of practices to work as a complete unit, but they came in and hit the ball well and also played great defense.”
The Ladycats went on to win their first game 21-0 after the games was stopped in the fifth inning by mercy rule. Smith felt confident enough in her JV team’s performance to start the squad for the second game. Strong hitting and defense prevailed again for the Ladycats, as they won 19-0. Smith said much of the credit had to go to the players on the mound for confounding the Lakers offense.
“Alli Huntington and McKenna Winters combined for a no hitter in the first game,” Smith said. “Winters and Julianna Hall also pitched a no hitter in the second game as well so it was really a great job by our pitching staff.”
The back to back wins means that the team has won their last six games straight. Smith said that while they haven’t faced as strong of competition as they did at the beginning of the year during that stretch, but the fact that the team has continued to play at a high level has good sign as the season goes on.
“The caliber of teams that we have played over the last several weeks haven’t been at the top of our conference, but we have played very well in those games,” Smith said. “I was really pleased with their ability to see strikes and stay off of pitches they know they shouldn’t hit.”
The coach hopes that the win streak can build momentum for the team as they head to Pershing County on Friday and Saturday to face off against the Mustangs.
“Pershing County has always had a bunch of athletic girls and a good team so this weekend will be a good test to see where we stand,” Smith said.