Twin Falls Clings and Ends Wood River Season | Sports
In a home and away game from start to finish, the Twin Falls varsity softball team outlasted upstart Wood River Lady Wolverines in nine innings of the Great Basin 7 Softball Tournament consolation semifinal on May 12 at Twin Falls High School.
1 Twin Falls scored a run late in the ninth inning, breaking a 12-12 tie for the starting score and giving the Lady Bruins a 13-12 win. Sydney McMurdie of Twin Falls took the win at the mound for the Lady Bruins, pitching four innings and allowing 10 hits, nine runs and five strikeouts.
For No. 3 Wood River (18-9, 9-3 GB7), rookie Makinzie Nelson took the loss in eight innings, 14 hits, 11 runs and nine strikeouts. At home plate, she went 2-for-3 with four runs scored.
Along with Makinzie Nelson, junior Grendal Sprong (5 for 6, 5 RBI) and senior Caroline Seaward (2 for 4, 3 RBI, 1 RBI) also led Wood River. For Twin Falls (17-10, 10-2), Regan Rex (3 for 6), Aubrey Fuchs (3 for 4) and Molly Hodge (2 for 5, 3 RBI) led the way.
“These girls are so close to my heart,” said WRHS head coach Matt Nelson. “I’ve been coaching them since sixth grade and enjoying every minute. I hope they take away the sense of achievement and confidence in everything they do.
Nelson and the WRHS softball team capped off an impressive comeback year after going 3-21 last season. With the quick turnaround, Nelson sees his team climbing even further.
“These girls all believe in one thing: putting the wins on the board,” Nelson said. “We’ve had a lot of coaches commenting on how awesome our girls are. They see us as a threat, so that’s a good thing.
Wood River closes comeback season
In the first round, Wood River opened the GB7 tournament with an 8-4 victory over No. 7 Minico, but then lost to No. 2 Mountain Home 11-1. The loss put Wood River in the consolation bracket, with still a chance to qualify for the IHSAA 4A Softball State Championships.
Wood River, however, remained alive. Prior to playing Twin Falls, the Lady Wolverines beat No. 5 Burley 16-6 in six innings.
Seaward pitched 3 1/3 innings and allowed four hits and four runs with three strikeouts. Makinzie Nelson pitched 2 2/3 innings with three hits, two runs and three strikeouts.
Bella Hadam and Seaward were both 3-4 for the Lady Wolverines. Kacy Garner and Laynie Campbell each had two hits for the Bobcats.
“This season has been a huge success,” Nelson added. “We had some great additions, which will help us for a few years. The most important thing was our senior management; it was huge. Olivia Adams is so positive. carolina [Seaward] raised its tail. Bryna, RaeAnne and Devon and Grace all did very well.
Even with senior management, 60% of Wood River’s offense came from Nelson’s daughter, rookie Makinzie Nelson and Sprong, who spent the last three seasons on the baseball team.
“Even as a high school student, she has a lot of determination,” Nelson said of her daughter. “She got a lot of attention from the teams in our conference. She continues to work hard and she loves the game. I can’t put a cap on any of these kids. This game teaches so many life lessons like keeping a positive mindset.
She led Wood River batting with a .684 batting average, 52 hits, 37 RBIs, 46 runs, 18 doubles and two homers. She also went 9-1 as a pitcher, leading WRHS with a 5.12 ERA and 102 strikeouts.
Sprong went .673 at the plate with 37 hits, 33 RBIs, 30 runs, 13 doubles, four triples and two home runs. She also had an .870 field percentage with just six errors at shortstop.
Others who contributed significantly were Jette Ward (11 stolen bases, 38 hits), Hadam (24 runs) and Adams (24 runs, 27 hits).
As for the conference finals, Jerome defeated Mountain Home 8-7 for the championship and an automatic bid to declare. Twin Falls also advanced after defeating Mountain Home in a 7-4 losing match on May 13.
The ISHAA 4A Softball State Championships will be held May 20-21 at Post Falls High School. ￼