By Mari Erin Roth
Lady softball players stepped onto the field April 13 in Quincy as the Portola Tigers came to challenge the Trojans for the first game of the season.
This year has been like none other. The last time Plumas County softball teams played was on this same QHS campus the end of March 2020. The season was cut short due to Covid concerns and only in-county teams were allowed to play each other. Greenville, Chester, and Portola teams came to Quincy where the athletes played their last competitive games in an impromptu final tournament. Little did anyone know it would be more than a year before the teams met again on the field.
But, that day has finally arrived. The QHS Trojans dominated the field in that first game, 18-2. Senior Quincy pitcher, Caitlin James aka “CJ”, appeared extremely comfortable on the mound and fired away at lightning speed. James struck out eight of 21 batters faced, throwing 77 pitches. Portola seniors, pitcher Micaela Coronado and catcher Abigail Klemesrud, both managed to run across home base to score for the Tigers. The Tigers have three seasoned pitchers in their pool, Justine Rapacilo, Sophie Ward and Coronado who have all pitched for the Tigers since their freshman year on the team.
For the Trojans, junior Lexi Baumgartner, CJ James, junior Kristin Murphy and freshman McKynlee Gay all rounded the bases to score three times each for QHS. Trojan juniors Brystol Beatley and Kayla Thackeray scored twice each. Juniors Chloe Newton and Vivian Thielman-Gifford crossed home plate once to score. James and Baumgartner both hit over the fence on the newly completed softball field at QHS for Trojan home runs. Dramatically, Baumgartner was first in the Trojan line up and her first hit of the game was that home run.
James, Baumgartner and Newton all hit four RBIs. Thielman-Gifford hit two RBIs and senior Haley Stewart hit one. Brystol Beatley stole the only base of the game.
QHS scored three runs in the first inning, PHS came back with a run in the top of the second inning and the Trojans added another three. In a painful third inning the Tigers were held in place while the Trojans racked up an impressive 12 additional runs, 18-1. Portola girls scored a run in the fourth inning and stopped the Trojans from adding any more points to the scoreboard. In the top of the fifth, the Tigers were unable to increase their count and so ended the game.
More games are on the horizon for these teams facing local athletes from Loyalton and Chester. Greenville does not have a softball team for the 2021 season. Out of county challengers will come from Fall River in McArthur, Lassen in Susanville, CORE Butte in Chico, and Redding Christian in Palo Cedro. As things sit presently, games are scheduled to play through the first week of June. Take me out to the ball game!!