Trojans knock off Miners with huge 6th inn
The team started slow but came alive in the final inning.
“Be aggressive!” Those were the words often used by first-year head coach Veronica Montanez during the Lady Trojans’ 16-9 league victory over the Sunrise Mountain Miners on Friday afternoon in Las Vegas.
She demanded aggressiveness from the start of the game. So much so that she made a fielding change in the bottom of the first inning because a Trojan player didn’t attack a fly ball hard enough.
Montanez wanted to set the tone early for how the game was going to be played.
Pahrump, who was riding a two-game losing streak, put in a strong performance on a day that may have been just as ugly as the opponent’s pitching.
The weather wasn’t what most people would consider “baseball weather”. It was cloudy, sometimes rainy, very windy and overall just a gloomy afternoon.
The Lady Trojans had their first four batters reach base safely, all of whom were walked in their at-bats. Pahrump would take a 1-0 lead when Cat Sandoval came in to score on Taylor Brown’s walk.
Pahrump Valley had five batters walk in the first inning and finished with 10 total walks in the game.
The Trojans wouldn’t hold on to the lead for long as the Miners were able to put two runs on starting Pahrump pitcher Valerie Mota to take a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the first inning.
Mota gave up six runs on seven hits in four innings of work. Mota struck out five batters during her time on the mound Friday.
There was a slight mixup for Montanez and her batting order regarding who would be batting in place of Mota.
Because of the confusion, Ava Chiacone would end up batting out of order, causing the Trojans to be called for an automatic out.
The out would prove to be inconsequential as Pahrump would get their next three batters on base safely, including a ground out by freshman Madison Rodriguez that drove in the game-tying run.
Pahrump Valley would build up a 5-run lead by the bottom half of the fourth inning. The Lady Trojans held the Miners scoreless in the second and third innings.
All of that would change in the fourth and fifth innings.
After three strong innings by Mota, she would struggle in the fourth inning where Sunrise Mountain was able to bring in four runs, cutting Pahrump’s lead down to just one run, 7-6.
The Trojans were held scoreless in the top of the fifth inning for their first scoreless inning of the game.
After getting beaten up in the fourth, Mota was pulled by Montanez and replaced by Sandoval. She would go on to pitch the fifth and sixth innings to close out the game.
Sandoval got off to a rough start, being tagged for three runs in the fifth. She would pitch two innings, allowing the three runs on two hits while walking three and striking out three batters.
After falling behind 9-7 heading into the sixth and final inning, the Lady Trojans’ bats came alive.
Brown kicked off the sixth inning with an inside-the-park home run to cut the Miners’ lead to one run.
She finished her day going 3-for-4 with a home run, two runs batted in and scored three times. Brown ended the game a triple shy of hitting for the cycle.
The Lady Trojans would bat around the lineup, scoring nine runs in the top of the sixth inning to pull away from the Miners.
Things started to get a little chippy during the Trojans’ half of the sixth inning as fans and coaches began jawing at each other following a Pahrump player being hit by a foul ball.
The umps would be able to get things under control to get through the last inning of the game.
Senior shortstop Jazmine Aldana finished the game 3-for-4 with a triple and two RBIs.
The Lady Trojans are off this whole week after having a busy first week of the season – playing eight games in eight days.
The next time they’ll step onto the field will be on Monday, March 20 in a road matchup with the Clark Chargers. Clark (1-4) has lost four games in a row, being shut out in two of their four games.
First pitch is scheduled for 3:30 p.m.
Contact sports writer/editor Danny Smyth at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @the_dannysmyth on Twitter.