Luckily for Newark Memorial, Reed’s annual Spring Break ‘Easter’ Tournament still had an opening and the two schools found a way to clear the logistical hurdles and get the California school to the Truckee Meadows by tournament time.
On Friday, the two schools, both traditional powers in their respective home areas, hooked up in tournament pool play and Newark Memorial handed Reed an 8-1 prep softball defeat.
“It was a scramble for us to even get up here,” Newark Memorial coach Rachel Kahoalii said. “We were supposed to be in another tournament in our area, but when I called last week to get the schedule, they told us we weren’t in the tournament.
“Then we found out Reed had an opening. We had to get special approval for an out-of-state trip by our superintendent. We’re just very thankful that it all came together. Once we got here, we knew it would be great competition. After all that has happened, it’s turned out to be a real benefit to us.”
The visiting Cougars broke open a close game with a big third inning. They held a 2-1 edge over Reed after two innings but erupted for five runs in the top of inning three to break the game open.
Sydney Strong tripled for the Cougars (11-1) and scored on an errant pick-off attempt. Laurissa Hernandez smashed a three-run triple later in the inning for the Bay Area school.
Reed could not get much going offensively in the contest, which was shortened to four innings due to tournament time limit rules. The Raiders’ lone run in the game came in the bottom of the first. Cori Gammon walked and circled the sacks for the RHS nine after a walk to Makaela Moore and an RBI single off the bat of Shivaun Landeros.
The tournament host Raiders (16-3) managed just four hits in defeat.
Newark Memorial never trailed. The Cougars scored two runs in the top of the first after cleanup hitter Erica Contreras roped a two-run dinger when her liner darted into a gap on Reed’s field, which did not have its temporary home run fencing set up.
“They hit the ball well. At least one would have been a homer with a fence and maybe a couple more,” Reed coach Jon Wunder said. “But we also made some errors and you can’t make errors against good teams.
The loss was Reed’s first since a season-opening tournament in Sacramento in early March.
“The purpose of this tournament is to play good competition. We knew that going in,” Wunder said. “We’ve got (Northern 4A powers) Damonte Ranch and Spanish Springs next week. We have to play good competition. That is what makes you better.
Reed’s 16-team tournament has four pools of four teams. The No. 1 seeds from each pool advance into a mini bracket today against each other, as do the No. 2 seeds and so on.
Reed finished second in its pool to Newark Memorial and will play in the No. 2 seed mini bracket today, starting with an 11:30 a.m. game against Carmel, Calif. All games are being played at Shadow Mountain Park.
Reed was forced to insert it’s JV team into the tourney field to complete the 16-team field. Raiders coach Jon Wunder put his JV squad in the same pool as his varsity so as to minimize complaints. He also had hurlers from his varsity staff pitch for his JV team so other schools could face top-caliber pitching.
“Absolutely, we wanted to make the best of a bad situation,” Wunder said. “This event is a fundraiser for our program. So we want to keep other teams happy and coming back.”
Reed did beat its JV team, 6-0, in the first game of the day, but the Raiders faced one of their teammates in the circle as sophomore Jackie Sertic worked all five innings for the JV against the varsity.
The Raiders scratched out single runs in the first and third innings and then got two each in the fourth and fifth.
Another Reed sophomore pitcher, Marriah Levesque, struck out seven and walked one while tossing a no-hitter against the JV club.
In the RHS crew’s second game Friday, it buried Elko, 11-0.
Reed sent 11 hitters to the plate in the first inning, posting five runs. The Raiders rapped out only three hits in the rally and took advantage of five first-inning walks from Elko pitching.
In the third inning, Reed pushed across six runs. This time it laced seven hits, all singles, in a key rally. Ten Raiders saw plate appearance in the big inning.
Megan Dettling tossed a four-inning one-hitter in leading the Raiders to victory. She struck out seven and walked one.