SECTION CHAMPS: Nevada City Softball All Stars overcome first round loss, win Little League Capital Section title
With their backs against the wall and facing elimination, the Nevada City Softball All Stars did their best work.
After dropping the first game of the Little League Capital Section All Stars Tournament (11-12 year old division), Nevada City reeled off three wins in three days to claim the championship banner and advance to the Northern California tourney.
“This team, they just battle,” said Nevada City manager Dave Rivenes. “They didn’t want to quit. (Losing the first game) didn’t bother them at all. They are just out here to play and whatever happens, happens. They just forgot about that first loss, started winning and just kept going.”
Playing at the North Natomas Regional Park in Sacramento, Nevada City opened the double-elimination Capital Section tourney with a hard-fought 7-4 loss to East Sacramento on July 1. They then won their second round bout with North Natomas, 19-9, on Tuesday, and handed East Sacramento its first loss of the tourney on Wednesday, 19-2, to set up a winner-take-all title game against East Sacramento on Thursday.
In the championship game, Nevada City jumped out front early with four first inning runs and never looked back en route to a 10-2 victory.
While the offense was putting plenty of runs on the board, Nevada City’s pitchers were dominating from the circle.
“We played as hard as we could,” said Nevada City pitcher Kyra Thompson, who tossed the first 3 1/3 innings. “(The key was) working as a team.”
Thompson was relieved by Jessica Rivenes, who pitched the final 2 2/3 innings.
“It feels pretty good,” Jessica Rivenes said of winning the championship. “(The key was) definitely working as a team and playing hard.”
Thompson and Rivenes combined to strike out 12 while allowing just two hits and two runs.
“Our two pitchers were great at being accurate today, and they were very fast,” said Nevada City catcher Monroe Ford. “The key to our success is working as a team and communication.”
Overall, Nevada City went 3-1 in the tourney and outscored their opponents, 52-20.
Dave Rivenes said the championship run was truly a team effort as everyone on the roster made contributions at the plate and in the field.
In Thursday’s title game, Nevada City had nine different players score at least one run as Evangeline Carman, Savana Hilton Frazer, Baylee Johnson, Savannah Noxon, Summer Shattuck, Karlee Turner, Jessica Rivenes, Ford and Thompson all got on base and came around to score.
Arianni Cope, Ruby Smith, Ford, Johnson, Noxon and Thompson all notched hits in the game, and Joslyn Henry contributed by drawing a walk and stealing a base.
With the District 11 and Capital Section banners already in their possession, the Nevada City All Stars will now compete in the Northern California Softball All Stars Tournament, where they will face other Section champs. Nevada City opens that tourney against the Shasta Section winner at 10 a.m. today at North Natomas Regional Park.
“I think our pitching will stay strong and I’m hoping our defense keeps working together,” said Dave Rivenes. “It’s tough out here playing in this heat, but these girls just keep battling through it.”
To contact Sports Editor Walter Ford, email email@example.com
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Collin Rutherford celebrated a return to his hometown on Aug. 22 by scoring a hole-in-one at the Nevada County Country Club.