Wins have been tough to come by this year for Carson High’s softball team, so coach Shelby Tuttle will take a victory however it comes.
The Senators scored six runs in their final three at-bats, including a walk-off sacrifice fly by Aubrey Northrup in the bottom of the seventh, to grab a 9-8 win over McQueen in a crossover game Tuesday afternoon.
Carson, despite making five errors, improved to 2-5 in league play entering Thursday’s 3:45 p.m. game at North Valleys. Carson’s next home game is at 11 a.m. Saturday doubleheader against Wooster. If Carson wants to move up in the league standings, sweeping the next three games is vital.
“It’s a win and we’ll take it,” Tuttle said. “How ugly it was I don’t care. It was a win. Even though we made mistakes, we didn’t shut it down. We kept playing and kept going.”
“We need to win these (upcoming games) so we can get a higher seeding for the tournament,” said winning pitcher Jen Purcell, who helped herself at the plate with a two-run homer and two sacrifice flies.
This was a game where every time McQueen scored, the Senators answered back. It was also a rather sloppy game, as the teams combined for eight errors. There were also a few plays that probably should have been made, but swirling winds and some snowfall made things difficult for both defenses.
Carson led 3-2 after three thanks to run-scoring sacrifices by Purcell and Rebecka Breuer plus a single by Northrup. McQueen’s runs came because of three errors at second base by Skye Simpson.
The Lancers took the lead for the last time in the fifth, 5-3, thanks to three runs.
Teryn Wilson led off with a walk and scored when Sadaria McAllister’s swinging bunt was thrown wildly to first by Purcell. Compounding matters is that the ball got by right fielder Malia Tiffer. McAllister raced all the way around to third on the play. Kathryn Moore followed with what appeared to be a routine flyball to right which turned into a run-scoring triple when Tiffer, either because of the sun or wind, was unable to come nowhere close to making a play on the ball. Moore eventually scored on a wild pitch.
Purcell redeemed herself for the throw in the bottom of the inning when she belted a two-run homer, tying the game at 5. The blow cam with nobody out, but the Senators were unable to mount another rally in the inning.
“The pitch was high and inside,” Purcell said. “I was able I was glad to do my job as a hitter.”
Carson grabbed an 8-5 lead in the bottom of the sixth when Northrup tripled to right and scored on a passed ball. After Bailey Allen grounded out, back-to-back errors kept the inning alive, and Purcell delivered another sacrifice fly.
The Lancers evened the game in the top of the seventh when Hannah Lowe walked and scored on a triple to right by Jacqui Martinez. Brooke Stevenson followed with a homer to right to even the game at 8.
“I think both of those hits I was deep in the count, and I was trying to throw the ball on the corners,” Purcell said.
Breuer opened the seventh with a wind-blown double off reliever Jaylynn Walker. The Senators eventually loaded the bases on a walk and error before Northrup delivered a ball deep enough to left to score Breuer with the game-winning run.
Northrup and Kandis Tuttle led Carson with two hits, while Bailey (triple), Breuer (double) and Purcell (homer) added extra-base hits.