Las Vegas Sun

August 20, 2017

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Boulder City softball falls in state championship game


Stephen R. Sylvanie / Special to the Sun

Boulder City’s Paxton Fleming (#5) is given a hero’s escort back to the dugout after scoring the tying run late in the first of two games against Fernley High in the 3A state softball championship game on Saturday afternoon.

Boulder City softball fall in state title game

Boulder City's Melissa Stewart passes a jubilant Boulder City dugout Saturday as she rounds third to score against Northern Nevada's Fernley High in the 3A state championship game at Faith Lutheran. The Eagles lost 3-2 and 9-1.

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The Boulder City High softball team picked the wrong time of the season for its first losing streak.

The Eagles entered play Saturday at Faith Lutheran in the 3A state tournament needing one win against Northern Nevada’s Fernley High for the championship. But they were defeated 3-2 and 9-1 to end an otherwise successful season.

They only lost five games this spring — two of which came on the final day — and were never defeated in consecutive contests.

“The kids have to be proud of the season they had,” Boulder City coach Bruce Reid said. “We told them to keep their heads up because they had a great season.”

Boulder City (32-5) had only lost one game in the last five weeks entering the tournament, an impressive streak that included going undefeated against opponents in the 3A Southern League.

They couldn’t duplicate the results against Fernley, which lost its first game in the double-elimination tournament but responded by winning four straight games for the title.

“It was inexperience,” Boulder City junior catcher Paxton Fleming said. “We didn’t come ready to play. We thought we had the (championship) won before the game started.”

Fernley never trailed in either of Saturday’s game.

The first game was scoreless until the sixth inning when both teams plated a pair of runners. Trailing 2-0, Boulder City rallied to tie the game on run-scoring singles from Taylor McKeever and Megan Snyder.

But Fernley’s Sevreana Johnson won the game in the seventh win a solo home run to force a second championship game.

Boulder City had been competitive in every game it played this season until Saturday. It committed seven errors in the second game in surrendering eight unearned runs in the 9-1 loss.

“You have to give credit to Fernley,” Reid said. “They came ready to play. They figured out our pitching. No matter what we did, they kept hitting us.”

McKeever singled and scored on a Karlee Koopman double for the Eagles’ lone run in the second game.

Boulder City only graduates one senior and figures to enjoy similar successes next spring. Paxton, McKeever and center fielder Brittany Patt will all return for their fourth season on varsity.

While the heartbreak of losing to Fernley stings, it might only be temporary.

“We’ll have a lot of leadership next year. We’ll be back,” Reid said.

Ray Brewer can be reached at 990-2662 or [email protected].

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