The Lowry High School softball team got a possible look at what the best of the Northern 3A West had to offer when it made its home debut this past Friday against North Valleys.
The Lady Bucks opened crossover play the week before with a pair of 17-0 wins over Wooster and Sparks, but the Panthers would be a much tougher foe.
North Valleys split with Elko and Spring Creek the week before and gave the Lady Bucks everything they could handle.
Lowry used a four-run third inning to beat North Valleys 4-2 and extend its winning streak to five games. Lowry is 3-0 in league play and 5-3 overall. The Lady Bucks were scheduled to host Hug on Saturday but that contest was canceled due to a lack of players on the Hawks’ squad.
“Going in we knew they were good and it would be a tough test for us,” said LHS coach Austin Mayo. “We left some runs out there and that is on us. Watching the game, you would think we were up by more runs but North Valleys made some plays. They are not going to give us anything for free and they have two pretty good pitchers and their defense played well behind them.”
Lowry looked to get off to a quick start as Shelbie Hoyt and Bailey Hayes opened the bottom of the first inning, but the rally fizzled with a double play as Hoyt was thrown out at home after a ground ball by Savannah Stoker.
The Lady Bucks broke through in the bottom of the third inning, scoring all four of their runs. Jada Matheny and Hoyt used consecutive singles to reach base and Hayes reached on an error to load the bases.
One batter later, Stoker sent the first pitch she saw to the fence to clear the bases and give Lowry a 3-0 advantage.
One batter later, Kenzi Dowd-Smith capped off the rally with a single to make the score 4-0.
North Valleys cut the deficit in half with a pair of runs in the fourth inning, putting together two hits and using a walk to its aid to make the score 4-2.
Lowry had an opportunity to add to its lead in the bottom of the fifth inning, but had its second runner of the game thrown out at home when Dowd-Smith attempted to score on a ground ball by Bailey Peterson.
“Overall, I was pretty happy with the way we played,” added the coach. “We had a couple errors on the bases but I always tell the girls we want to be aggressive. If we slide at home on both plays, they are probably safe. These are the kind of games we need to play in to make us better.”
Kadence Cooney did the rest for Lowry in the circle, as the senior shut down the Panthers in the final two innings. She allowed two runs on six hits. She struck out three and walked three.
Hoyt and Matheny paced Lowry with three and two hits, respectively.
Both of them scored a run. Stoker had one hit and three RBI and Maddison McClure, Hayes and Dowd-Smith each had one hit.
Lowry closes out crossover play this weekend at home. The Lady Bucks take on Truckee on Friday at 3 p.m. and South Tahoe on Saturday at 11 a.m.
Lowry begins Northern 3A East play in Elko on April 1-2.