Using a two-run fourth inning and a three-spot in the fifth, Reno built itself a 7-2 lead. Although Spanish Springs tried to rally its way back, it fell just short as the five-run cushion proved too much and the Huskies held on for a 7-6 win.
“I have to give Reno a lot of credit,” Spanish Springs coach Jeff Davidson said. “They wanted it today more than we did. They played well. They hit the ball well, moved runners along and got key hits in key situations. Reno did a great job today and they outplayed us. So they deserve the victory.”
Spanish Springs (12-2, 6-1) opened the scoring in the first inning as Amanda Barham reached base with a single before touching home on a Reno error. The Huskies responded with a pair in the bottom of the second to take the lead as Rachel Self singled home Kayla Sisson before getting in an intentional rundown to allow Morgan Eisle to score from third. With RHS holding a 2-1 edge, the Cougars tallied another run in the third as Kayla Arterburn was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to force home Brette Lawrence, tying the game at 2-2.
In the fourth, Reno began to separate itself from the Cougs.
Back-to-back singles from Eisle and Raylani Kerr kicked off the bottom half of the fourth for the Huskies. After a fly out, Self then legged out an infield single, loading the sacs. Hannah Higgins singled home Eisle before a sacrifice fly by Kylee Spencer plated Kerr for a 4-2 advantage.
Reno kept its momentum going in the fifth.
Savannah Schulze and Sisson both reached base via a single, putting runners on first and second for Eisle, who cleared the bases as she ripped a triple to the right-center field gap. A single into center field off the bat of Kerr then brought Eisle home to give the Huskies a 7-2 edge.
In the sixth, Spanish Springs started a furious rally, but it proved too little, too late.
A walk to Megan Archer and a single by Kelsey Stroshine started the top half of the sixth for SSHS. After a fielder’s choice left Stroshine on second and Sidney Sinclair on first, Taylor Helton doubled to right-center field to score one. A strikeout then put the Huskies one out away from escaping the inning fairly unharmed, but Lawrence sent a shot back up the middle to score a pinch-running Autumn Alexander, extending the inning. Lawrence was pushed home with a bases loaded-walk to Arterburn to leave the score at 7-6, but the Cougars left the bases full to end the inning.
Spanish Springs put a runner on second in the top of the seventh, but was unable to tally the tying run as Reno took the one-run victory.
“When we had our comeback, we had the bases loaded and we just couldn’t get that key hit that we needed,” Davidson said. “Then we had a chance to tie the game in the last inning with one out, but again we just couldn’t get that key hit. That’s part of the game.”
In the first game, Lawrence led the Purple and Silver to the 4-3 victory with a complete game from the circle. She struck out 12 while giving up five hits and three earned runs. She also helping herself at the dish with a 2-for-3 effort that included a double and two RBI. Karlie Merritt and Alyx Penrod both went 2-for-4 at the plate.
Spanish Springs will now have an extended break until the Reed Tournament on April 12. Davidson said his team will use that time to address a number of areas.
“I think the team needs to really focus on little things because we didn’t have a great approach today,” he said. “We made some nice defensive plays, but once again at the plate we didn’t have good approaches. We swung at some bad pitches and got in a hole. That’s why the game ended the way it did.”
Visiting Hug for a Division I North doubleheader, the Raiders took care of business as they cruised to 18-0 and 19-0 victories in a pair of mercy-rule shortened contests.
"We went out there and tried to execute the things we do day in and day out in practice," Reed coach Jon Wunder said. "We did have to make some adjustments at the plate because the pitching was a little bit slower and a little bit more inconsistent than what we're used to, but they had good approaches at the plate. Everyone stayed focused in both games. We executed the things that you're supposed to do offensively, defensively and pitching wise."
In the first game, Megan Dettling went the distance in the circle to earn the win. Jackie Sertic pitched the first three innings of Game 2, before Marriah Levesque finished the final two innings.
At the dish, Cassy Walsh led the way in Game 1 with a 4-for-4 effort. Levesque and Dettling both went 3-for-5 while Tyler Sumpter was 2-for-4 with a three-run homer to help the cause. In the second contest Sertic was a perfect 3-for-3 from the plate while Sumpter and Leighton Lee were both 3-for-4. Dettling had a 2-for-3 effort along with a 3-for-5 day for Mackenzie Goins.
Reed (11-2-2, 6-0) will return to the diamond on Thursday at Wooster. First pitch is scheduled for 3:45 p.m.
"On Thursday when we're at the plate, we're going to focus on hitting the ball down and keeping it out of the air," Wunder said. "That's one thing that we did in the Douglas series that hurt us. We hit the ball in the air too much. So we have to focus on quality at bats."