Lady Bruins break away from Nevada Union |

Lady Bruins break away from Nevada Union

Bear River’s softball team hosted Nevada Union for the county crown on Thursday.

And for the fourth straight year, the Lady Bruins are the queens of the diamond.

The nonleague neighborhood matchup was a pitcher’s duel, until the Bruins put together a fourth-inning rally for a 4-1 victory.

Bear River sophomore Stephanie Ceo led off the fourth with bunt single, then stole second base and scored the game’s first run on a Katie Mathis one-hop triple the left field wall. Mathis, a senior second baseman, scored the eventual game-winning run by stealing home.

NU senior pitcher Karly Harris struck out the next batter, but gave up a double to Bruin senior right fielder Christianne Thill, who scored the third and final run in inning.

Stephanie Ceo scored the fourth and final run in the fifth inning for Bear River, which is currently carrying just 12 players on its roster.

“We don’t have a lot of room for injuries or mistakes,” said Bear River coach Duane Zauner. “We are solid in all areas. Good teams find a way to get the big inning.”

Nevada Union (4-4 overall, 1-2) was down 4-0 in the top of the sixth and just six outs away from being shutout by the Bruins (9-1, 3-0) for two consecutive years. NU’s lead-off hitter was sophomore Jordan Graham who drew a walk, and scored the Miners only run on a single by Bernadette Boren.

“(The Miners) are a solid team and have come a long way,” said Zauner. “Karly (Harris) did a good job closing out our hitters.”

Bear River sophomore pitcher Erin Nichol recorded the win with five strikeouts, one walk, a hit-by-pitch and five hits. Senior Courtney Ceo came into the game in the seventh and NU went three up, three down.

“Erin struggled today. She was not her best,” Zauner said. “I challenged her to pitch.”

Harris pitched a complete game without NU co-captain catcher Akasha Dykes due to injury. Dykes was replaced by Jordan Graham, who was moved up from the JV team.

“(Karly) keeps us in ball games,” NU coach Darren Chan said. “We need to find a way to consistently score runs.”

Bernadette Boren was 2-for-3 and Brianna Nicholson had an RBI in the loss, while Graham and Kendal Butterfield each added a single for the Lady Miners.

Neither team had a defensive error in the game. Bear River has committed just four errors in 10 games this season.

“They are very comparable to the better teams in the Sierra Foothill League,” said Chan, who is in his ninth season at NU. “Their middle infield is solid. I have never seen a middle infield so tight. It’s tough to get anything through them.”

Next up for the Lady Bruins is the NorCal Classic April 9 in Tracy, where Bear River is the No. 2 seed amongst many larger schools. Nevada Union is back in action April 10 at the Folsom Tournament.

Contact Sports Writer Scott P. Hopper via e-mail at or by phone at 477-4231.

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