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Pitchers duel leaves DO in great spot, Tigers with work to do

Roseville now in must-win situation for final two contests
By: Kurt Johnson, senior sports editor
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With outstanding pitchers in the circle and playoff spots on the line, it was little surprise that Monday’s Sierra Foothill League softball game at Del Oro came down to execution of the smallest things. In a game that was pushed to Monday after Friday’s rain, Roseville was unable to touch home plate in dropping a 1-0 decision to the Golden Eagles despite a dominating two-hit pitching performance by Kiana Levy. The issue for the Tigers was Levy’s counterpart, Savannah Pingree, who also allowed just a pair of hits while keeping Roseville off of the scoreboard. The game was completely a battle of pitching and defense, and into the fourth inning, neither offense even threatened to score. Roseville’s Alicea Coy led off the game with a base hit, and there were no other knocks until Caitlin Renn beat out an infield single for Roseville in the top of the fourth. Renn moved to second base on a sacrifice bunt, but got no further. Levy was unhittable for most of the game, but Del Oro bunched its two hits together in the bottom of the fourth, and that inning was the difference in the contest. A one-out Annette Merjano single got things started, and then Olivia Nixon, running for the Golden Eagle designated hitter, stole second and advanced to third when the throw skipped through into center field. Pingree followed that with a single through the left side to plate the run that allowed her to pick up the win. Roseville’s Kalei Levy and Coy reached back-to-back on Del Oro errors with one out in the sixth, and then moved to second and third on a wild pitch, creating the Tigers best scoring opportunity. Pingree responded with a strikeout and a ground ball out to escape and leave the victory intact. The win puts Del Oro (8-2 in the SFL, 18-6 overall) in good position to secure the Sierra Foothill League crown, with two games remaining this week against Oakmont and Granite Bay. The Tigers (6-4, 15-9), on the other hand, are now tied with Oakmont in fourth place, and need to win games against second-place Woodcreek and Nevada Union on Wednesday and Friday to get back into the playoff mix.