LAS VEGAS — The scores weren’t indicative of the effort the Laughlin High School Lady Cougars put into their last two games of the softball season.
The Cougars’ stay at the NIAA Southern League Tournament was short-lived with losses of 14-2 to Needles in the opening round and 18-2 to The Meadows in the losers’ bracket in games played at Mountain View Christian School in Las Vegas.
“I am proud of this group of girls,” said Laughlin coach Aaron Schellie. “We had our ups and downs this season, but they never gave up. They continued to battle no matter what the score was.”
The opening game against Needles got away from the Cougars late, Schellie said.
“We hung with Needles for four-plus innings,” he said. “The girls did a great job at the plate and in the field. Then we hit a bit of a rough stretch and they put the game away.”
Laughlin had 13 hits but had little to show for it.
“We hit the ball much better this time around,” Schellie said. “We had some quality at-bats and did not strike out much. We had numerous baserunners but could not get the clutch hit at times to push more runs across.”
Seniors Jasmine Donnett and Deztiny Duran both had three singles for the Cougars while sophomores Ashley Bishop and Sammi Sarinana had two each. Savannah Santillano had the Cougars’ lone extra-base hit, a double. Donnett and Bishop scored the Cougars’ runs.
Donnett added two more singles in the loss to The Meadows. She and junior Fejay Crevier each scored a run.
“We did not play well,” Schellie said in summarizing the game against the Mustangs. “We struggled both at the plate and in the field. We could not get outs and it really hurt us.”
Lincoln County claimed the league tournament title, knocking off Needles 13-6 in the championship game.
Earlier in the tournament, Lincoln County beat Needles 5-1 but Needles battled back with a 22-17 slugfest victory over The Meadows — a game that featured 39 runs, 32 hits and 14 errors — before beating Lincoln County 11-5 to force a decisive game in the four-team, double-elimination event.
Lincoln County and Needles will advance to the NIAA state tournament, where they will be joined by Northern League representatives Silver Stage and White Pine.