NU softball powers past Bear River for 1st win |

NU softball powers past Bear River for 1st win

Miners baseball tops Forest Lake Christian

Nevada Union pitcher Liz Baucum fires a pitch during the Miners’ win over the Bruins Tuesday at Bear River High School.
Photo: Elias Funez

The Nevada Union Miners and Bear River Bruins let their bats sing loudly Tuesday as the two Nevada County schools faced off in an early season softball bout.

When the dust finally settled at Bear River’s varsity softball field, it was the Miners who walked off the diamond with an 18-11 victory.

“We’ve played tough and done good things, we just hadn’t put it all together as one. The girls felt like they did that today,” said Nevada Union head coach Dennis Houlihan. “The energy was really high, we had a lot of quality at-bats. That’s what led to us getting that many runs.”

The Miners (1-2) had scored just three runs in their first two games before breaking out for 18 on Tuesday.

Nevada Union baserunner Alyssa Watkins slides safely into second base during the Miners’ win over the Bruins Tuesday at Bear River High School.
Photo: Elias Funez

Leading the charge was junior McKenna Hayden, who hammered out four hits, including two doubles and a solo home run in the sixth inning.

“It felt really good,” Hayden said of her bomb over the left field fence. “When I get good hits like that it really boosts my confidence, and I feel like it boosts up my team.”

Hayden also got the start from the circle for NU, tossing three innings, allowing three runs on three hits and striking out three.

“I like that we played together as a team,” Hayden said. “It really shows when we play together. There’s a lot of girls that came up from JV and they showed up today ready to play.”

Nevada Union scored at least one run in six of the seven innings and got contributions from every spot in the lineup.

In addition to Hayden, the Miners got multi-hit efforts from Grace Zydonis (2-for-5, triple RBI, a run scored), Kaeli Horn (2-for-3, two doubles, two RBIs, two walks, four runs scored), Shea Conner (2-for-5, double, two RBIs, a run scored) and Alyssa Watkins (2-for-5, double, two RBIs, a run scored).

Nevada Union also got contributions from Addison Parmenter (1-for-4, two RBIs), Mina Mason (1-for-3, double, two RBIs), Chloe Ross (1-for-1, two RBIs), Sierra Green (RBI, run scored) and Liz Baucum (1-for-4, double, four runs scored).

Baucum also pitched the final four innings of the game.

“Both our pitchers are juniors and we’ve had them (at varsity) since they were freshmen, and they are really coming into their own,” said Houlihan. “McKenna brings a certain authority when she is hitting her targets. Liz brings a lot more movement. As a combination, they really do keep batters off balance. They are a perfect combination for each other.”

A Nevada Union varsity batter puts the ball in play for the Miners during their win over Bear River Tuesday.
Photo: Elias Funez

After falling behind 15-3 midway through the fourth inning, the Bruins began to get comfortable in the batter’s box and started chipping away at NU’s lead. They tallied five runs in the bottom of the fourth inning and added three more runs across the next two innings, but it wouldn’t be enough.

“We got a really young team, and we always seem to start a little on the nervous side, then they settle in,” said Bear River head coach Vince Nawrocki. “Unfortunately, sometimes there’s a lot of damage before they do. But, I’m really proud of them. They were down by double digits and were able to fight back and put double digits on the scoreboard.”

Leading the Bruins (1-3) at the plate was Kaly Chapman-Ulloa, who tallied two doubles, two RBIs and scored a run. Also providing pop at the plate was Krissy Kelly (2-for-3, double, RBI, two runs scored), Kaylee Vieira (1-for-3, triple, two RBIs, two runs scored), Livia Nawrocki (1-for-4, double, two RBIs, a run scored), Sarah DeSart (1-for-4, RBI, two runs scored), Gretta Barrieau (1-for-3, RBI, a run scored), Camy Texeira (1-for-3, RBI, a run scored), and Sophia Edwards (1-for-4, a run scored).

Both teams have young rosters with one senior each. Of the Bruins’ starting nine on Tuesday, eight were freshmen or sophomores.

“I just want them to get better every practice and every game,” said Vince Nawrocki. “This season isn’t a wash when it comes to competition. There’s no playoffs and no championships, but that doesn’t mean we don’t want to go out and win games. And, on an individual level, keep getting better.”

Bear River pitcher Kaylee Vieira winds up a pitch with Nevada Union base runners on first and third base during the Miners’ win over the Bruins Tuesday at Bear River High School.
Photo: Elias Funez

The Miners also started eight underclassmen (two freshmen, two sophomores and four juniors).

“I just want to see us continue to work together and compete with every team,” said Hayden.

Next up for the Miners is a home game against Lincoln April 15.

The Bruins get right back at it with a home game against Placer at 4 p.m. today.


Nevada Union 12, Forest Lake Christian 2

After a pair of one-run losses to start the season, the Miners made sure this one wasn’t getting away from them.

Nevada Union (1-2) scored six runs across the first two innings and put the game away with six more runs in the fifth to top the visiting the Falcons from Forest Lake Christian.

Leading the Miners at the plate and on the bump was Ryder Celenza. The freshman pitcher tossed all five innings of the mercy-rule shortened game, allowing just five hits and two earned runs while striking out eight. He also knocked in three runs and went 2-for-3 with the bat in his hands.

Celenza got all the run support he would need early on. After Celenza knocked in the Miners’ first run of the game, fellow NU freshman Brenden Pinney doubled to left field to bring in two more runs, Pinney finished with three RBIs on the day,

NU also got key contributions from senior Kolby Amaral (1-for-3, double, RBI, two runs scored, stolen base), junior Corey Ellis (1-for-3, two RBIs, two runs scored), and sophomore Lucas Mackey (1-for-2, RBI, two runs scored).

Providing bright spots for the Falcons was Ben Weston and Nick Corso. Weston went 1-for-3 with an RBI. Corso notched the team’s only extra base hit, a double in the top of the fourth inning.

The Miners are back at home to face Lindhurst today. Next up for Forest Lake Christian is a road game at Bear River Tuesday.

To contact Sports Editor Walter Ford, email

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