The Lassen High School varsity softball team took home the second place plaque from the Northern Section. Photo by Ashley Grogan

Lady Grizzlies finish season at Division Championships

The Northern Section California Interscholastic Federation Division IV Championship game may have been a swing and a miss for the Grizzlies, but the playoffs as a whole proved to be the best way to end the softball season for this year’s varsity Lady Grizzlies.

Lassen started the playoffs seeded seventh of eight teams.

The first round of playoffs had Lassen take on the second-seeded team, the Wheatland Pirates, Tuesday, May 15.

Though the Wheatland fans were sure the game would be an easy slaughter, they were not expecting the Pirates to be the victims rather than the victors.

A 6-2 final score favoring the Lady Grizzlies enabled Lassen to play in round two against the third-seeded team, the Anderson Cubs, on Thursday, May 17.

Though the Grizzlies proved themselves a worthy opponent after defeating Wheatland, the Cubs made the mistake to judge the Grizzlies by the seeding number rather than their performance.

With the underdog power on their side, the Grizzlies ruthlessly delivered a game the Cubs won’t soon forget.

Anderson initially took the lead with a run scored in the second inning.

In the fourth inning, the Cubs cushioned themselves with a more comfortable lead of 3-0.

However, the Grizzlies came out of hibernation once inning five rolled around.

Lassen scored one run during the bottom of the fifth and continued to feed on the element of surprise.

In the top of the sixth inning, Anderson failed to advance their score, but the same couldn’t be said for Lassen.

The bottom of the sixth inning saw the Lady Grizzlies bring in three runs to steal the lead from the Cubs.

With 4-3, Lassen, on the board to start the seventh, the Cubs put their final ounces of effort into the game and ultimately tied things up with a score of 4-4 by the inning’s end.

Thus, the teams entered extra innings.

The Cubs, still exhausted from their run, scored in the seventh inning, were unable to advance their score during the top of the eighth.

The only hope for Anderson was to put their full focus into keeping the offensive Grizzlies from scoring in the bottom of the eighth. Unfortunately for the Cubs, the effort was a complete failure.

Lassen doubled their score in the eighth inning with a total of four runs scored.

The final score of the game against Anderson was 8-4 in favor of the purple and gold. With the win, Lassen was ready to take on the Sutter High School Huskies for the championship title.

On Saturday, May 19, Lassen traveled to Sutter eager to score against the top-seeded team.

The Grizzlies played hard on the field, but ultimately lost the game to Sutter and earning the title of NSCIF Division IV runners-up.

The final score against Sutter was 13-2.

Throughout the game, pitcher Reegan Floyd pitched five strikeouts.

At bat, Mila Knezevich went 1-for-1 with a double. Rylee Friddle went 2-for-2 with two singles and one RBI. Roxanne Nicholas went 2-for-2 with one single and a triple, as well as one RBI. Katie Parady went 1-for-2 with one double and one RBI.

Though the Lady Grizzlies didn’t finish the 2018 season with the championship win, they certainly had several amazing memories made throughout their season to remind them of their successes.

After the Saturday game, in a public Facebook group, Lassen varsity softball head coach Hillary Magarrell said, “Today, we lost to a very good Sutter team. I continue to remind myself and the girls that there were 14 other teams who would have loved to switch places with us today. We had the honor of playing in the Section Championship game because we put the work in and continued to grind until the last out of every game. I hope every one of them takes a moment to enjoy what they’ve accomplished and looks ahead on how they can improve. I know I will. I look forward to building on what we’ve already started with this very young group of ladies. Thanks to everyone who was a part of this special group of kids.”