West all-stars beat East in softball

FALLON - Some of the best talent in northern Nevada softball came together for one last time.

Seniors from Douglas to Elko high schools played in their final softball game of their prep careers in the first annual Optimists All-Star Softball Classic Tuesday night at Fallon's Ed Arciniega Athletic Complex.

By using a small-ball offensive strategy, the West scored three runs in the sixth inning to win the classic 3-2 over the East.

Stacey Allison, who guided McQueen to the state title last week, favored the idea of coaching a team of all-star athletes.

"It was fun. We had some great girls on this side," said Allison, who coached the West team.

Maddie Garcia (Reno) ripped a sharp single into left field in the top of the sixth and scored the West's first run after Catrina Cherry (North Valleys) reached on an infield error.

McQueen's Rachel Wilson tied the game with a ground-out and Cherry later scored on a passed ball.

With Tara Beck (Manogue) at the plate with a 2-2 count, she swung and missed on a passed ball while Cherry broke for home, speeding past catcher Jamie Swanson.

Danielle Moropolous (Galena) picked up the win in relief and Nicole Ellis retired the East in order in the seventh for the save. Nicole Greer (Dayton) took the loss.

Moropolous enjoyed the game and playing with the five McQueen athletes.

"I've actually played with a majority of McQueen girls since I was 10," Moropolous said.

Tami Peel, head coach of the East All-Stars, praised the Fallon Optimists for hosting an all-star game for those departing seniors.

"Hats off to Scott Meihack for all the hard work and determination," Peel said. "They all did great. I was honored I could coach them.

"It was a great feeling to see all the talent from the North on one field."

The West team, which consisted of players from McQueen, Galena, Reno, Manogue and North Valleys, had to rally from a two-run deficit. Players from Fallon, Douglas, Spanish Springs, Damonte Ranch and Elko competed for the East.

Jessica Haight, a McQueen standout and West all-star, took advantage of the momentum the Lancers gained from winning state.

"This game was fun for me and everyone," said the Feather River College-bound athlete.

The East All-Stars jumped on the scoreboard quickly by posting one run in the first inning.

Fallon's Liz Lewis smacked a double to right field and scored two batters later on an infield error.

Two innings later, Nicole McGlone (Damonte Ranch) singled up the middle to score Lewis. Lewis reached base on a check-swing single to the outfield and advanced to third on a pick-off attempt at second.

Douglas Tigers pitcher Kayla Dunn quieted the West in her first four innings of work. The Georgia Tech-bound star allowed only two walks and a single, but used her off-speed pitches for strike outs and ground outs.

"Kayla Dunn is really really unique," Peel said.

Dunn enjoyed playing one more high school game before playing college ball in Georgia.

"That was awesome," Dunn said. "Obiviously, you're going to play hard and it was fun playing everyone before they left (high school)."

After her final game with the Tigers during the playoffs, Dunn never would have expected to be invited to participate in the first-year event, especially after recovering from a knee injury.

"I definitely thought Douglas was my last game in high school. This was a good idea. I think it's fun."


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