Greer throws one-hitter
Tribune sports editor
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE – Senior pitcher Nicole Greer could have been wearing a Reed, Wooster or McQueen uniform on Wednesday afternoon. She threw that well.
Greer, however, pitches for the Dayton Dust Devils, a Nevada Class 3A program, and receives little fanfare as she puts the finishes touches on a fabulous four-year varsity softball career.
In five innings South Tahoe could only nick Greer for one hit as Dayton ruined the Vikings’ home opener 13-0 in a nonleague game.
“I have seen her pitch ever since she was a freshman and she has improved each year. Now that she’s a senior, she’s throwing as well as anyone in 4A,” said STHS manager Rich Barna.
Greer has thrown two perfect games, including one against Whittell, this season. She blanked Incline in her last outing on Saturday.
Leadoff hitter Jen Bigelow’s bloop single in the first was the only hit off Greer.
“There was a little miscommunication between the center fielder and the shortstop or else the ball would have been caught,” said Dayton coach Dusti Houk.
Bigelow was the only baserunner to reach against Greer as an infield error allowed her to make it to first base in the third inning.
“I figured if I pitched my best it would come, but I expected more (STHS) hits just because they are a bigger school,” Greer said.
Completely in control with a blazing fastball and a menacing changeup, Greer fanned five Vikings and didn’t walk a batter.
“That changeup had us off balance. In warm-ups I watched her throwing that changeup and I thought, ‘My gosh, she’s going to kill us,” Barna said.
Bigelow said Greer’s fastball looked faster on Wednesday because of the pace the Vikings experienced on Tuesday.
“Playing Whittell, when they threw like 30-mph pitches, it was a big change and nobody was expecting her to throw that quick,” Bigelow said. “We weren’t getting on top of her at all and she had a really good changeup.”
Dayton has struggled to produce runs throughout most of the season, but found the short fence at the “Field of Dreams” refreshing.
Freshman Brittany Hill put a charge into a first-pitch offering from Anna McCracken with Sierra Barnwell aboard in the first inning to give Greer all the support she needed. The line-drive homer over the left-field fence was the first of two hits by the Dust Devils.
Reserve Toni May clobbered a two-run shot during a six-run fifth inning off reliever Shaylene McLaughlin. The home runs were Dayton’s first and second of the season.
“It was nice that we finally started hitting and it was great ‘Brit’ and Toni got those home runs,” Greer said.
Dayton (8-12), in sixth place in the Northern 3A League, scored three runs in the third on just two hits. Caty Cross and Barnwell provided the hits and Hill picked up the lone RBI on a fielder’s choice. The other two runs scored on a wild pitch and a throwing error.
Barnwell added an RBI single and Hill a sacrifice fly during a two-run fourth that pushed Dayton ahead 7-0.
Greer complemented her spectacular pitching performance with two hits during Dayton’s six-run fifth. Hill finished with four RBI.
Greer retired the final seven STHS hitters, including three straight in the fourth.
“As the game goes on, she gets stronger and her pitches get better,” Houk said.
STHS entertains Douglas today at 3:30 p.m. in its season finale.