They will be going back. A 10-0 romp over Carson Friday in a winners’ bracket game of the Northern 4A Tournament assured Spanish Springs of just that.
“Going to state has been one of our goals all season,” Spanish Springs coach Jeff Davidson said. “I’m proud of the way they came back. We finally get to go back to state.”
The Cougars (29-1) were never threatened by the Senators. The SSHS club got two runs in the first inning, added three more in the second and then blew the game open with five in the fifth. The fifth-inning rally pushed the Cougars’ edge to double digits and put the 10-run mercy rule into effect.
While the Cougars’ offense was busy putting up runs, Spanish Springs ace right-hander Karlyn Jones was baffling Carson hitters. Jones struck out 10 Senators in the five-inning affair. She did not give up a walk and finished with a one-hit shutout en route to victory.
Jones struck out the side in the first and third innings. She seemed to get stronger as the game wore on, despite having already hurled the Cougars’ to a 4-0 win over Damonte Ranch earlier in the day.
“I feel pretty good,” Jones said after finishing her third complete game in 30 hours. “I feed off my team and I feed off their intensity. It helps when I’m hitting the ball well too.
“My riseball was working really well. I had pretty good movement. I predominantly threw that. I kept to my spins and they worked well for me.”
Ashley Decker and Stevie Trevino got the Cougars’ offense going in the first when they opened with singles. A single by Karley Hopkins scored Decker and back-to-back walks by Jones and Karly Hall forced in Trevino.
In the second, Decker singled and Trevino reached on an error. A Hopkins groundout scored Decker and Jones followed with a two-run homer that drilled the top of the scoreboard in left field at Manogue High School.
“Today we got our confidence back,” Trevino said, comparing the team’s two wins Friday to a lackluster 1-0 eight-inning first-round win Manogue Thursday. “The whole team had a great mindset. We all felt it was going to be a good day.”
Spanish Springs did not score in either the third or fourth but got hot again in the fifth to end the game early. Danica Arterburn initiated the Spanish Springs fifth with a leadoff double. One out later, Bella Rovens walked. Decker then singled home Arterburn. Trevino reached on a fielder’s choice that brought Rovens home.
Hopkins drilled a two-run double to plate Decker and Trevino. Singles by Jones and Hall allowed Hopkins to circle the sacks and account for the final 10-0 margin.
“We hit our pitches today. We hit the center of the ball,” Davidson said. “When we get into close games is when we get away from our philosophy. Today we got back to it.”
Spanish Springs will play in today’s tournament title game at noon against the winner of the 10 a.m. matchup between Damonte Ranch and Carson. That winner would have to beat Spanish Springs twice to win the Northern 4A crown. Both teams will advance to next week’s state tournament, which will be held at the Hixson Softball Complex on the University of Nevada campus Friday and Saturday.
•Spanish Springs downed Damonte Ranch 4-0 in their first game Friday. The Cougars were led by a four-hit shutout turned in by Jones. She struck out eight without issuing a walk in the win.
Ashley Decker had a double and single and scored two runs for Spanish Springs while Sydney Darby mashed a solo home run.