Twin Falls takes 4A softball crown from Bishop Kelly

Bruins defeat Knights twice behind balanced offense, stellar pitching.

dsouthorn@idahostatesman.comMay 18, 2014 

NAMPA - After her final pitch as a high school softball player, Rainey Dyreson teared up quickly.

The Twin Falls Bruins' ace pitcher, who signed to play at Oregon State, concluded her career with something she's done so many times - a strikeout.

Dyreson and the Bruins defeated Bishop Kelly 9-1 on Saturday to claim the state title at the Skyview Softball Complex, capping a dominant run to the crown in which they won four games by a combined 40-9.

"It really was perfect," Dyreson said. "I just started crying. Me and my catcher (Courtney Nolan), we've played together since we were little kids, and that's how we always envisioned our last moments."

Twin Falls (26-2) topped Bishop Kelly 12-1 earlier in the day in a semifinal matchup of the double-elimination tournament. Dyreson struck out 11 and allowed two hits in that contest.

She came into the championship game in relief during the third inning with a 5-1 lead and tossed five shutout frames with seven strikeouts.

"We couldn't get after her like we've been able to a lot of pitchers," Bishop Kelly coach Tom Antonoplos said. "She was bringing it."

Bishop Kelly (21-7) played its way into the title game with a 7-0 win over Kuna to stave off elimination. Pitcher Emily Baca allowed only one walk to seven strikeouts against the Kavemen, but ran into some trouble early against the Bruins. Twin Falls loaded the bases down 1-0 in the second inning and scored on three straight walks before a Dyreson two-RBI double made it 5-1. The Knights got runners on second and third with one out in Dyreson's first inning, but couldn't convert.

"They've just trusted each other all year, never got down," Twin Falls coach Jessica Pistole said. "They've done a great job focusing on the little things like taking pitches when the situation calls for it, which they did in that inning."

Nine Twin Falls players registered hits on the day and aided Dyreson with solid defense, allowing only two runs in the last three games of the tournament.

"This was a once in-a-lifetime kind of team - we didn't have one weak spot, everyone could hit, everyone could field," Dyreson said. "It's so crazy - everyone's so solid."

KUNA TAKES THIRD

The Kavemen took third place in the 4A tournament, routing Canyon Ridge 10-0 in six innings in their first game before falling 7-0 to Bishop Kelly in an elimination game.

"We've been pretty darn good hitters this year," Kuna coach Joe Kleffner said. "We didn't necessarily show it in the last game, but when there was blood in the water, we went after it, stringing hits together."

Dave Southorn: 377-6420, Twitter: @IDS_Southorn

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