Bulldog shortstop Taylor Barnum and second baseman Kari Wakefield attempt to start a double play during the Dawgs 4-3 loss in the championship game to Aquinas High School. Photo by Lou Martin.

Bulldog shortstop Taylor Barnum and second baseman Kari Wakefield attempt to start a double play during the Dawgs 4-3 loss in the championship game to Aquinas High School. Photo by Lou Martin.

Despite a gutty performance by Bulldog thrower Savannah Price, the Virgin Valley High School softball team took the powerful Aquinas High School team into extra innings Saturday afternoon, March 12 before succumbing 4-3. Price pitched a complete game in the loss, giving up only one earned run. Price also pitched in the win over Elko Friday night.

The Dawgs jumped on the Falcons early taking a 1-0 lead after one inning. Jesse Barnum singled to begin the inning and was brought home on another single by Taylor Barnum. The Bulldogs added two more runs in the second inning on hits by Calee Clem and Shalee Hafen giving the Bulldogs a surprising 3-0 lead after two full innings.

Price and a good Bulldog defense shut down the Falcons until the bottom of the fourth inning when Aquinas loaded the bases with no outs. Price bore down and exited the inning unscathed. It seemed apparent Price was tiring in the fifth as she loaded the bases once again. Taylor Barnum picked up a shot and threw a Falcon out at first to end the inning with the Dawgs still up 3-0.

The Falcons began the bottom of the sixth with a walk. A huge error by the Dawgs infield on a force out allowed the Falcons to stay in the game with three runs and a tie going into the top of the seventh and final regulation inning. Neither team could score in the seventh forcing extra-innings.

The Bulldogs were shut down again, not having a base runner since the second inning of the game. The Falcons began the eighth and final inning with a single. A double play at second on a ground ball was muffed putting additional pressure on Bulldog pitcher Price. Another walk loaded the bases once more and a Falcon smash between the outfielders ended the game with the Falcons winning 4-3.

“We were one play away from winning the game,” said Bulldog coach Travis Griffith. “The girls played well and I’m pleased with the tournament overall. We need to continue to work on our continuity around the bags.”