The Cougars (7-2, 4-0 Northern 4A) trailed 3-1 as they came up in the bottom of the fifth. Sadye Roulund reached on a fielder’s choice with one out. Kelsie Merritt followed with a single. Bella Rovens stepped up next for the Cougars and reached on an error that allowed Roulund and Merritt to come plateward. After a walk to Dani Smith, Brett Lawrence laced a run-scoring single to plate Rovens.
The rally gave Spanish Springs its first lead of the game, 4-3. After setting Douglas down without a run in the top of the sixth, Spanish Springs tacked on an insurance run. Myrissa Prince doubled and scored for the Cougars in the bottom of the sixth.
Prince was 2-for-3 at the plate, but was the lone Cougars player with more than one hit. Spanish Springs managed only five hits in the afternoon affair.
“You have to play great defense and you have to support your pitcher,” Spanish Springs coach Jeff Davidson said. “We committed five errors today. That’s unacceptable ... We hit some balls well and we hit some balls up. It was just one of those days. It wasn’t a consistent effort. That was the most disappointing thing. We didn’t field the ball very well either and that also hurt.”
Douglas grabbed a quick 2-0 edge with a pair of runs in the top of inning one. Spanish Springs got a run back in the bottom of the inning after Smith walked and circled the sacks on a costly Douglas error.
That 2-1 score stayed intact until the top of the fifth when Douglas extended its edge to 3-1, setting the stage for the late-inning Cougars comeback.
Lawrence wound up collecting the win in the pitching circle for the SSHS hosts. She was tagged for the three runs but none were earned. Lawrence limited the Tigers to four hits while striking out 12 and walking two.
Spanish Springs returns to the diamond Saturday when it plays a doubleheader at Wooster, 10 a.m.
“We are definitely a work in progress. I challenge the team every single day in practice that we have to get better every single day,” Davidson said. “Some days we play well and practice well. Others days we don’t. We have to be consistent improve every single day. It’s a long season and we have to be improving as we go throughout the season.”
Reed 18, Reno 2
•Thursday afternoon’s cold and windy conditions didn’t do the Reno pitching staff any favors. Huskies hurlers struggled to find the strike zone and it cost the Reno club dearly.
Reed scored four runs in the bottom of the first inning, but neither teams scored again until the bottom of the fourth. That’s when the host Raiders broke the game wide open.
Reed scored 14 runs in the bottom of the fourth. The Raiders sent 18 hitters to the plate in the outburst, but only six recorded hits. Eight Reed hitters were issued walks in the rally.
Lindsey Yearman had a solid offensive inning for Reed in the fourth. She ripped a three-run double and a two-run triple in the key frame.
“The wind out there was just awful,” Reed coach Jon Wunder said. “It probably didn’t do either of their pitchers much good. They both struggled to find the strike zone.
“We were patient and took our walks when they gave them to us. With the wind we wanted to keep the ball out of the air. The ball we were hitting, we were hitting down and finding gaps. I was pretty pleased with that.”
The big inning allowed Reed to rack up a 10-run mercy-rule victory.
The Reed offense got going early with its four-run first. Hannah Martini drew a leadoff walk. Mary Dettling drew a walk as well and Makaela Moore brought both home with a two-run single. Moore scored on an RBI fielder’s choice by Andi Lee. Danaya Thompson scored Reed’s final run of the inning after a Reno error.
Jackie Sertic earned the pitching win for Reed. She had a three-hit shutout going through four innings but Reno scratched out a pair of runs off her in the top of the fifth. Only one of the runs was earned. Sertic finished scattering five hits in a six-strikeout, three-walk performance.
“She came back in the fifth and had two walks and a hit batter,” Wunder said. “That could be from being on the bench for a while during our big inning. For a first year varsity kid, she’s got pretty good composure.”
Reed plays a doubleheader Saturday at North Valleys. Game 1 will begin at 10 a.m.
Sparks 13, Hug 2
•Last season the Sparks softball team won a total of zero games. In comparison, the Railroaders are off to a much better start this season, downing Hug 13-2 in five innings Thursday afternoon, stringing together impressive back-to-back wins.
Sophomore pitcher Madisyn Lock took the circle for the Maroon and Gold in relief of starter Marisa Brogdon, pitching three-plus innings of the mercy-rule shortened game to earn the victory.
“Our pitching did well,” Sparks coach Frank Avilla said. “We only had three errors on the day. We had a good effort all the way around. Any time you can do that and play ball the right way behind good pitching, you have a chance to win. The kids are learning the game. I was very pleased with the win and their aggression and how they’re starting to focus and play. If we can string some more games together like this I think we’ll be going in the right direction.”
At the plate the Railroaders had 11 hits. Jocelyn Vasquez led the way for Sparks, going 2-for-2 with a double and two RBI. Dannae Soto also had a day at the dish, batting 2-for-3 with four RBI. Aside from getting the win as the Railroaders’ hurler, Lock also went 1-for-2 and had three RBI.
“We’re not being hesitant,” Avilla said. “We’re learning to get through our fears and the fears that they create within their own mind. We’re learning how to compete in the right way. We’re not putting pressure on ourselves. That feels good.”
Sparks (2-5, 1-2 Mount Rose League) will travel to Gardnerville to play at Lampe Park against Whittell in a league double-header on Saturday, starting at 11:00 a.m.