Spanish Springs, the defending 4A state champion, scored three or more runs in three different innings and was never challenged in the contest, which was shortened to five innings by the 10-run mercy rule. The lopsided affair took less than an hour to complete.
“This was still good for us. It was good for us to see something different and see what’s out there,” said 13th-year Fernley coach Diane Chapin. “We’ve got a big league game tomorrow (Friday) so it was good to play this game.”
Ashley Collier was the star of the Spanish Springs show Thursday, tossing a no-hitter against Fernley, Nevada’s defending 3A state champion. Collier struck out 12 without issuing a walk. The only Fernley baserunner reached when Collier made an errant throw to first base after scrambling out of the circle to field a bunt.
“Most of my stuff was working. My riseball and curveball were working and my change-up, which is what I threw most of the time,” Collier said. “I knew if I just brought my stuff and hit my spots, I’d be fine.”
And that she was. The Spanish Springs offense was in fine form as well. The Cougars banged out 12 hits while eclipsing double digits on the scoreboard.
Spanish Springs wasted no time in grabbing the lead. The Cougars pushed across four runs in the bottom of the first inning. Sophomore Ashley Decker started the rally by reaching on a fielder’s choice. She scored when Jaci Carlsen bashed a triple. Carlsen came home on a single by Collier. Amanda Collier walked to put runners on first and second. Karlyn Jones singled to score Ashley Collier and Amanda Collier raced home on a passed ball.
The Cougars added three more runs in the second inning. Carly Hopkins tripled and scored when Carlsen ripped her second triple of the day, two outs later. Ashley Collier followed and reached on a Vaqueros’ error that allowed Carlsen to score. Ashley Collier scored the third run of the SSHS rally on a single by her sister Amanda.
Spanish Springs extended its edge to 8-0 with a single run in the third inning.
The Cougars weren’t done. They finished the visiting Vaqueros off with a trio of fourth-inning runs.
Ashley Collier singled and stole second to kick off the Spanish Springs outburst. She moved to third on a groundout by Amanda Collier and scored on a single off the bat of Jen Martensen. Jones blasted a double that scored Martensen and then she circled the sacks after a Fernley error.
“We really hit the ball well for the third straight game,” Spanish Springs coach Jeff Davidson said. “I was a little worried about our offense after we struggled in California, but we have gotten better. We are seeing the ball better and being more selective at the plate. Even a lot of our outs we are hitting hard.”
Spanish Springs was slated to play a doubleheader against Tokay, Calif. Saturday, but officials from the Central California school opted not to make the trip earlier this month. The Cougars won’t play again until Tuesday when they face perennial Sierra League power Reno at 3:30 p.m.