Softball: Long, Koerber combine for no-hitter as Bear River crushes Center | TheUnion.com
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Softball: Long, Koerber combine for no-hitter as Bear River crushes Center

Bear River's Nerissa Long delivers a pitch during a game against Center earlier this season.
John Hart/jhart@theunion.com | The Union

Lady Bruins 9, Lady Cougars 0

Pitching

WP: N. Long – 5 IP, 12 SO, BB, 0 H, 0 R

LP: H. Arthur-Tardiff – 4 IP, 4 R, 7 H

Hitting

BR: Long – 2/3, triple, RBI

BR: M. Laymance – 2/3, RBI

BR: A. Hardin – 2/2, double, RBI

Despite a 13-day layoff between games, the Bear River softball team showed no signs of rust on a chilly Wednesday afternoon as it crushed Pioneer Valley League foe Center, 9-0.

The Lady Bruins (9-3, 1-1 PVL) were dominant from the circle with Nerissa Long and Arielle Koerber combining to throw a no-hitter.

Long, a junior, set the tone early, striking out the side in the first inning and notching eight strikeouts through the first three innings. Long lost the perfect game bid in the fourth inning after a leadoff walk, but promptly sat down the next three batters with strikeouts to stem any threat. The reigning league MVP left the game after five impressive innings in which she struck out 12 of the 16 batters she faced.



“We felt confident going into the game,” said Long. “Our defense was good and our pitching was good. Arielle and I just stuck with it the whole time.”

When Center did get the bat on the ball it didn’t go very far as Center never got a ball to the outfield all game.




The Cougars managed just two base runners all game, leaving them stranded on second and first.

Bear River sophomore Arielle Koerber took over in the sixth with an 8-0 lead. She picked up right where Long left off. Koerber struck out the side in the sixth and struck out another three in the seventh, yielding just one walk.

“That was awesome,” said Bear River head coach Duane Zauner. “They had two base runners on two walks. (Long and Koerber) stayed ahead of the batters all game long and they had good movement on their pitches. Sometimes taking a week off is a miracle. No rust.”

Between Koerber and Long, they struckout 18 of the 23 batters they faced.

While the Bear River defense held strong, the offense did more than enough to give the Lady Bruins the win.

Sophomore shortstop Indyia Vierra (1-for-4, two runs scored) got the scoring started after reaching on a passed ball strikeout. She was sacrificed over to second by Hope Ferri (1-for-3, double) and advanced to third on an infield hit by Koerber (2-for-4). With two outs, Mikayla Laymance (2-for-3, RBI) ripped an RBI base hit up the middle to give Bear River the 1-0 edge.

Long (2-for-3, triple, RBI) helped herself out in the third inning with an RBI triple over the center fielders head, bringing Ferri, who had doubled, home for the 2-0 advantage.

The Lady Bruins added two more in the fourth, with Taylor Bonnifield and Vierra scoring on passed balls. The game broke open in the fifth when Bear River hung four more runs, coming off an RBI fielder’s choice by Kaitlyn Maddux (1-for-3 RBI), an RBI double by Andrea Hardin (2-for-2, double, RBI) and an RBI groundout by Brieana Maddux. Hardin also scored on a passed ball. Pinch hitter Maya Shine (1-for-1, RBI) tallied an RBI base hit in the top of the sixth to put the game at 9-0.

The victory is Lady Bruins’ eighth in nine games, but their first victory since a 2-0 extra-inning loss to Lincoln March 26 in both teams PVL opener.

“A win like this gets you to start thinking, yes we can win, we can execute,” said Zauner. “I’m hoping we can build on it game in and game out. We got eight league games left and if we can win six of those we will be in the playoffs. Seven wins will get you in the playoffs in this league. Were going to go one at a time.”

The Lady Bruins get back at it Friday in the NorCal Classic Tournament.

To contact Sports Editor Walter Ford, call 530-477-4232 or email wford@theunion.com.


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