TWIN FALLS – Life was good for Twin Falls in the friendly confines of their home field Tuesday, as the Bruins opened conference play with a 9-6 win over previously unbeaten Jerome, behind the pitching of junior Whitney Solosabal.
Solosabal worked around Jerome base runners in going the distance, totaling 130 pitches in the win. She gave up only five hits, recorded eight strikeouts and issued four walks. The Twin Falls offense backed her performance with nine runs on nine hits.
“I can relax more when I’m pitching when my team scores runs. I know they will always back me up and not get mad at me,” said Solosabal. ”My pitches that were working the best today were my fastball and changeup. It’s a good rivalry with Jerome and it is always good to beat them.”
Solosabal was 0-3 at the plate and said it just wasn’t one of her better days batting.
Asked if she liked batting or pitching better, the junior replied, “I have the most fun doing whichever one I’m doing best at.”
Senior left fielder Amelia Deaton and junior shortstop Kylie Baumert led the Bruins offense with four of Twin Falls’ nine hits. Deaton finished the game 2-for-3 with 2 RBIs and a stolen base. Baumert was 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI. Sophomore center fielder Kenzie Connell had a team-high three RBIs.
“My hats off to Jerome,” said Twin Falls coach Tonia Burk. “They kept battling back but I thought we responded well. Both teams put a lot of pressure on each other. Jerome was very aggressive on the bath paths.”
Asked about the performance of Solosabal, Burk replied,” She stayed in the zone and hit her spots and had good velocity. She is a great kid and is a “we” player that will do whatever it takes for a team win.”
Jerome shortstop sophomore Vivi Ortega was the leading Tiger hitter with two hits, including a triple and a stolen base. Emily Bragg, Mercedes Bell and Kailey Harrison each had a hit. Bell and Harrison each had triples, and Bell had an RBI.
“The coaches were telling me to watch for pitches outside and I was seeing the ball well,” said Ortega. ”This team has an amazing attitude. Even if we get down, they just don’t give up and always pick each other up. When someone does something, we seem to feed off those accomplishments.”
The same two teams face off again Wednesday at Jerome. With Tuesday's win, Twin Falls improves to 3-2 on the year. The loss drops Jerome to 4-1.
“We will need the same effort at home to protect our turf,” said Ortega.
Twin Falls 9, Jerome 6
Jerome; 0;1;0; 2;2;0; 1; -6; 5; 1
Twin Falls; 0;2;1; 5;1;0; x; – 9; 9; 4
Jerome: Pitching - Tiffany Bryant (L) 3.1 IP, 5 H, 3 K, 3 BB, 7 ER; Emily Bragg 2.2 IP, 4 H, 1 K, 2 ER.
Jerome: Leading hitters – Vivi Ortega 2-4, 3B, SB; Emily Bragg 1-4; Mercedes Bell 1-2, 3B, SB, RBI; Kailey Harrison 1-3, 3B.
Twin Falls: Pitching – Whitney Solosabal (W) 7 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 4 BB, 8 K.
Twin Falls: Leading hitters – Kylie Baumert 2-4, 2B, RBI; Amelia Deaton 2-3, 2 RBI, SB; Kenzie Connell 1-4, 3 RBI, 2B; Caroline Casdorph 1-2, RBI; Lexi Rierson 1-2.