NAMPA - Out of pressure-packed situations, the Mountain View Mavericks and Rocky Mountain Grizzlies emerged the lone unbeaten teams after the first day of 5A state softball.
The Mavericks notched a 3-2 win over Skyline and a 6-3 win over Eagle on Friday, while Rocky Mountain got 9-6 and 1-0 wins over Highland and Coeur d'Alene, respectively. The 5A SIC foes face off at the Skyview Softball Complex at 10 a.m. Saturday for a berth in the championship game.
A 5A SIC team has not won the state tournament since Timberline in 2009.
"I feel great about where we're at mentally, the drive they've had to give more each game," Mountain View coach Tim Souza said. "I think there's a lot of maturity, and there's no panic when there's a need to step up."
Mountain View (24-3), the District Three champion, trailed Skyline 2-1 with two outs in the sixth inning of its opener before Dakoda Lee's two-run home run gave the Mavericks the lead for good. Mountain View jumped out to a 5-0 lead on Eagle before the Mustangs scored twice with the bases loaded in the fifth inning. The Mavericks stemmed the bleeding with a double play, and pitcher Courtney Moore ended the game with one of her own, catching a line drive and picking off a runner at first.
"We're hungry, we have a great team and I feel like this is our year, that we can do something big," Moore said of the Mavericks, who did not reach state last year.
Rocky Mountain (16-11) saw a 6-1 lead evaporate into a 6-6 tie with Highland in its opener after a five-run sixth for the Rams, but Laura Graham drove in the go-ahead run on a fielder's choice, then Alex Lasure added a two-run single. To cap off the unbeaten day, pitcher Hayden McKenney stumped Coeur d'Alene in the shutout.
"We've got to give a lot of credit to Hayden and (catcher) Maddy Smith," Rocky Mountain coach Missy Nichols said. "And we played solid defense behind them. We've had a lot of games with three, four, five errors, and we had one all day."
Fellow 5A SIC team Boise (15-13) is alive in the double-elimination tournament, winning two straight games after losing the opener. The second win, against Eagle, knocked the Mustangs out.
The Braves fell to Coeur d'Alene 2-0, but rebounded with a 4-3 win over Highland, escaping a bases-loaded jam in the seventh, and jumped out to an 8-1 lead en route to an 8-4 win over Eagle. The Braves face Coeur d'Alene in an elimination game at 10 a.m. Saturday.
"Those were our first state tournament wins in 18 years," Boise coach Brian Barber said. "We were just steady, scoring when we had the chance, not giving up walks."
For Eagle (19-8), which opened with a 10-8 come-from-behind win over defending champion Lake City, the exit was made even tougher when sophomore Olivia Tooley was taken in an ambulance after the game with a possible concussion.
"This whole year has been adversity, from our head coach (Doug Corta) having a brain tumor, to freak injuries, it's been tough, but it'll make us stronger - we lose only three seniors," assistant coach Justin Kloczko said.