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Cougars win tourney title
by Dan Eckles
Apr 16, 2011 | 997 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tribune photo by John Byrne - Spanish Springs sophomore Brette Lawrence slides safely across the plate in the Cougars' win over Reno Saturday.
Tribune photo by John Byrne - Spanish Springs sophomore Brette Lawrence slides safely across the plate in the Cougars' win over Reno Saturday.
It might be getting a bit old for the Reed High softball program, watching cross-town rival Spanish Springs win the Raiders' annual spring break tournament. Spanish Springs rolled over Buhach Colony of Atwater, Calif., 12-1, in the tournament's title game Saturday. It gave Spanish Springs a third-straight tourney championship.

RHS coach Jon Wunder even quipped to SSHS fans during a postgame celebration that when a team wins three straight it has to take a year off.

Cougars senior Danica Arterburn was ecstatic to help her team snare the first-place trophy.

"It feels good to win it," she said. "We've won it the last couple years so that was extra motivation."

Cougars coach Jeff Davidson liked what he saw from his squad throughout the two-day event.

"Overall, with the seven games we played, I'm really happy with the way we performed," he said. "To get to the championship, and have the opportunity to win, was great. The team wanted it and played well."

Arterburn picked up the pitching win in the championship game, throwing the first two innings before giving way to Kaytlin Ripa, who worked the final two. Arterburn also had three hits, including two doubles in the romp.

Arterburn had an RBI single in the bottom of the first as the Cougars plated the contest's first run.

Buhach Colony got a run back in the top of inning two to knot the contest at a run apiece. That's as good as it got for the California club. The Spanish Springs offense blew up for six runs in the second and five in the third to implement the tournament's 10-run, four-inning mercy rule.

All six of Spanish Springs' second-inning runs came with two outs and were unearned. With one out, Julianna Waller and Alyx Penrod both reached on Thunder errors. Next, BC recorded the second out but Spanish Springs started to pile on.

Bella Rovens had an RBI single and Dani Smith ripped a two-run double. Arterburn followed with an RBI double and Sydney Darby rapped out an RBI single. Brette Lawrence capped the big inning with an RBI single.

Buhach Colony advanced to the championship game after picking up a win in the semifinals, thanks to a forfeit by Alhambra, Calif. The Thunder was retired without a run in the top of the third and Spanish Springs went right back to work.

Ripa and Kayla Arterburn singled for Spanish Springs to get a rally going. Rovens and Danica Arterburn proceeded to rap out RBI singles and Darby concluded the outburst with a long three-run home run to left field, accounting for the final 11-run margin.

"I think it was a screwball she threw me," Darby said of the home run pitch. "I was just looking for something I could drive. I wasn't trying to hit a home run, just get a base hit. It felt good coming off the bat.

"We wanted to end it early. We were all pretty tired, playing four games today and three yesterday. We were exhausted and wanted to get it done with."

Spanish Springs won its four-team pool of the 16-team tournament on Friday. On Saturday, Spanish Springs dumped Reno 11-0 in the first round of bracket play and then beat Carson 8-0 in the quarterfinals. The SSHS nine got by James Logan High, of Union City, Calif., in the semifinals to earn the date with Buhach Colony.

The Cougars beat up on Thunder pitching in the championship game, hammering 13 hits in just three offensive turns at the plate. Rovens had three hits as did Danica Arterburn. Darby and Lawrence each had two hits.

"We hit the ball down very well," Danica Arterburn said. "We work on that in practice and that philosophy helps us score a lot of runs."

Davidson had similar sentiments.

"We hit the ball well this weekend," the Cougars' coach said. "We made some baserunning mistakes in a couple games … I told the girls, when you hit the ball down and hard, good things happen."

Spanish Springs (21-2) is back in action Saturday when it plays McQueen in a league doubleheader.
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