RENO – There will be a new DI state softball champion this year.
Reed’s state title defense came to a sudden halt on Friday at Hixson Park with a 12-0 (5 innings) loss to Rancho, immediately after a 6-2 loss to Spanish Springs.
“It’s tough to rebound,” Reed coach Jon Wunder said. “You gotta rebound and we didn’t. And we got beat in both games. We had been playing well. We just had an off day.”
The Raiders (32-5-1) settled for a third-place finish at state. It was fifth straight season they finished in the top three (1st in 2015, 2nd in 2014, 3rd in 2013 and 3rd in 2013).
“Sure we’re disappointed. You set your goal to win regionals and then state and we came up short,” Wunder said. “We’re focusing on the positives of the year and the years we’ve had with the senior class that we had.”
Reed and Rancho (30-8) both failed to score in the first inning. Then the effects of the loss to Spanish Springs took over. The Raiders’ season ended in one half inning.
After four hits, four errors, two passed balls, one walk, one wild pitch and one pitching change, Reed found itself in a 7-0 hole going to the bottom of the second.
The two coaches obviously had very different perspectives of the frame.
Said Wunder: “Long.”
Said Rancho coach Amanda Zuno: “Incredible. The best feeling ever.”
Zuno didn’t predict a seven-run frame going in to the game, but she did say the Raiders appeared deflated entering the elimination game.
“We watched the end of their game. We saw their faces. We saw their body language and we knew we had to jump on them early due to the fact they just came off a loss,” Zuno said.
The Rams added two more runs in the third, one more in the fourth and two more in the fifth before the game was called due to the 10-run mercy rule.
The season-ending loss to Rancho came one day after the Raiders snuck past the Rams on Thursday in the first round of the state tournament.
Reed finished with just three hits in the loss.
The Rams, who topped Shadow Ridge in Friday’s first game at Hixson, earned a spot in the state title game against Spanish Springs on Saturday. First pitch is at noon. They will have to beat the Cougars twice.