Galena softball falls
The clock struck midnight on the Galena High softball team’s Cinderella run in the Northern 4A Championships on Saturday.
Galena, which came in as the No. 4 and final seed from the High Desert League, won its first two games in the event. But the Grizzlies lost their next two games, eventually being eliminated by Spanish Springs 4-1 at Carson High.
Still, the Grizzlies couldn’t complain about a third place finish at zone and Galena coach John Baker wasn’t complaining. “You can’t complain about that,” said Baker about his team’s finish.
The Grizzlies were able to put together threats against the Cougars’ two aces, Annalee Rubio and Mallory Darby, throughout the game, but could only push one run across. “We were able to hit them,” Baker said.
Galena couldn’t muster enough offense to support the solid pitching of Danelle Moropolous and Justine “Sarge” Sargent. “Pitching wasn’t the problem,” Baker said.
The key moment of the game came when Galena loaded the bases with one out. Courtney McKeon, the granddaughter of Florida Marlins manager Jack McKeon, and Kaitlin Porter singled and Jesse Worth reached on an error to load the bases. That’s when Spanish Springs pulled Rubio in favor of Darby, who induced a popup.
Darby then uncorked a wild pitch and McKeon tried to score. There was some question as to if Darby had control of the ball, but McKeon was ruled out to end the inning. “A couple of calls could have made the difference again,” Baker said.
But Baker said the difference of the game was Galena’s inability to score when it had the bases loaded. “You get the bases loaded and you can’t bring them in,” he said.
The Grizzlies mustered their last threat in the sixth when Emily Fletcher singled and Eleni Sexton reached on an error, but couldn’t score.
Galena threatened in the first when Porter and Alica Craft singled, but came away empty. Moropolous was touched for two runs on five hits in the bottom of the first, but her defense kept the damage to a minimum. Craft, the catcher, threw out a runner trying to steal second, and the inning ended when Moropolous induced a double play that was turned nicely by Porter at shortstop after she stepped on second and threw to first.
Sargent singled and Sexton walked in the second, but again Galena was turned away. In the third, Craft doubled and Worth followed with an RBI single to cut the deficit to 2-1.
Moropolous settled down after the first until the fourth when Spanish Springs scored twice to make it 4-1. Sargent shut out the Cougars over the last 2.2 innings. Porter and Craft each had two hits.