The Fernley softball team took advantage of its chances when it counted most in the NIAA/U.S. Bank 3A State Championships.
Fernley used two Truckee errors to score both of its runs in a 2-1 win on Thursday in Mesquite. The Vaqueros advanced to an 11 a.m. game today against Manogue, which advanced with a win over Pahrump Valley. Truckee eliminated Pahrump Valley when it won 4-3 later in the day.
All three runs in the Fernley-Truckee game that were scored were unearned. Both teams had four hits and committed two errors. But while Fernley was able to take advantage of both of Truckee's errors, but only one of the Vaqueros' errors proved to be costly.
It was the fifth time that Fernley had Truckee have played each other this season, with the Vaqueros winning the last two after losing the first three. Fernley has swept Manogue in both of their games this year.
Christina Thomas pitched a complete game for the win, striking out seven and walking none.
"It was one of those tournament nail-biters," Fernley coach Diane Chapin said. "They made a couple of mistakes and we capitalized on them."
Thomas was able to escape a jam in the second inning after there were runners at second and third with no outs. Thomas got a strikeout and a comebacker and retired the runner at third after getting her in a rundown.
Thomas went on to induce a pop up to end the inning. "She had a good performance," Chapin said.
Fernley took a 1-0 lead in the third when Tara Zimmerman walked, went to third on Kami Kornegay's single and scored on an error. The Vaqueros took a 2-1 lead in the fifth when Rebekah Freeman singled, stole second, was moved up to third by Hillary Wortman, and scored on an error.
Freeman had two hits and Walita Cuerta added a hit for Fernley. "It's nice to get the win," Chapin said.
Thomas will start against Manogue. "If we do what we need to do, we should come away with the win if Thomas keeps throwing the ball hard and we make the plays behind her," Chapin said.