Carson High softball coach Scott Vickrey was hoping for a good start to the season, and he got it.
Mandy Carvin scattered four hits and Jessica Grant drove in three runs to spark the Senators to an 11-0 win over Sparks Thursday afternoon at Carson.
"We neded to start off positive," Vickrey said. "We needed a good start to give the kids confidence going into the rest of the season.
"I'm happy with the way the girls performed. They didn't swing at bad pitches, and we didn't take any called third strikes. We were smart on the bases. Mandy threw a great game."
Indeed. The rail-thin righthander fanned four and walked just one batter. Sparks got only one runner to second base the entire game, as Carvin used an assortment of pitches to keep the Railroaders off the scoreboard.
"She's been working hard in practice," Vickrey said. "She's worked hard as long as I've known her. She's really matured as a pitcher, and her velocity has picked up. Her biggest asset is that she keeps hitters off balance."
"I threw the pitches i wanted to throw," Carvin said. "I used my change-up a lot, even when there wasn't two strikes. I was a little nervous because it was the first game. "
The offense struggled the first two innings against Lea Jared. Liz Rankl (2-for-3) hit a one-out double in the first, but was stranded when Dacey Hassey popped to short and Lindsay Farnsworth flied out to right. In the second, the Senators put runners on first and second with one out. Samantha Sifuentes popped out on a bunt and Robyn Conn grounded to short, forcing Jamie Yenter at second.
Carvin admitted she was a bit concerned after the first two innings went by and the game was still scoreless.
Carson broke loose for five runs in the third, three scoring after two outs.
Rankl singled and stole second. Hassey was safe on an error, allowing Rankl to reach third. Hassey broke for second on the next pitch, and the catcher's throw was way off the mark, as Rankl scored without a return throw. Grant (2-for-3) singled home Hassey (2-for-3).
Jessica Ashbaugh singled Grant to second, and both runners scored when Sparks second baseman Breanna Bratcher bobbled Yenter's groundball, and then threw wildly to home. Katie Davis singled home the fifth run of the inning.
Carson made it 6-0 in the fourth when Hassey singled, stole second and scored on Grant's single.
The Senators ended the game in the fifth on the 10-run rule, as Hassey hit a run-scoring single, Grant drew a bases-loaded walk and Jared uncorked a wild pitch to score a run. Ashbaugh ended the game with a two-run double off the fence in center.
"Darcy was incredible," Vickrey said. "When Ari (Gonzalez) graduates, we're not going to miss a beat. She can hit the ball. when she relaxes, she hits the ball. Liz hit the ball well and so did Jessica (Grant)."
Contact Darrell Moody at 881-1281.