Two-time defending state softball champion Lincoln County had another go-round with league rival the White Pine Bobcats on Tuesday this week. The teams have also faced each other in the past two state finals, with Lincoln winning both times.
And they met again at White Pine this week with the Lady Lynx edging the Bobcats 8-6 in the first game, but easier in the nightcap 19-7.
Coach Pat Kelley said Needles will be the regular season league winner and No. 1 seed into the tournament May 12-14 in Laughlin. The reason being, he said, is that Needles beat the Lynx in the second game they played April 8.
Josie Burgess had home runs and doubles in both games. Sarah Butler went 2-for-3 in the first game for Lincoln.
In the second game, Kia Phillips went 5-for-5 with a double, and Abby Schimbeck went 3-for-4 for Lincoln, which also got a home run and a double from Cameron Lloyd.
With a big lead in the first game Kelley said he took starting pitcher Josie Burgess out in the sixth inning to give junior Hannah Lytle “some experience in pressure situations.”
And the Bobcats took full advantage of that, scoring one run in the sixth and four more in the seventh, to draw within 8-6. “We made a few mental errors,” Kelley said, “and I had to put Josie back in to get the last out.”
In the nightcap, Kelley said the team “hit the ball good and ran the bases really well.” They hammered out 18 hits, started off with a four-run first inning, which bounced starting pitcher Britney Kingston, and had three strong middle innings, accounting for 12 runs against White Pine’s second-string pitcher.
Burgess was again the pitcher for Lincoln, but Kelley commented she struggled for a few innings, allowing seven runs, but finally got settled down.
Lincoln (19-8, 13-1) concluded the regular season Friday at Laughlin (12-6, 8-6) and returns to Laughlin for the league tournament May 12-14. The state tournament will be in Reno May 19-21.