RENO - Sometimes discretion is the better part of valor.
Carson High softball coach Scott Vickrey made a decision to essentially concede the first game of a doubleheader on Saturday at Wooster when he pulled ace pitcher Mandy Carvin. The Colts had a big lead and Vickrey decided to save Carvin in an effort to salvage a split.
The decision turned out to be the right one as the Senators salvaged a key split in the Sierra League race. Carson dropped the opener 8-0, but came back to win the nightcap 7-6, with Carvin pitching a complete game.
With Carvin bothered by nagging shoulder and knee injuries, Vickrey didn't want to push her any more than he had to. It looked like Vickrey had pushed Carvin to the limit as it appeared she had little - if anything - left to end the second game.
"I knew the chances of her going 14 (innings) were really slim," Vickrey said. "Them getting up in the first game allowed us to save Mandy for the second game. She just had enough gas. She gave it everything she had. She was running on empty."
The split also gave Carson (12-8-1, 6-4) an upper hand over Wooster in the Northern 4A playoff race. The Senators won two of three from the Colts in league play so if the two teams end up in a two-way tie, Carson would win the tiebreaker.
"It doesn't really rule you out losing the second game," said Vickrey about the playoff race. "But it gets real tough. It was a big win. Our primary goal was to come get one."
But Vickrey also knows his team isn't assured of a playoff spot, yet. "We're not taking anything for granted," he said.
Carson took a 7-5 lead into the bottom of the seventh inning when Carvin had to pitch around two errors that allowed Wooster to close to within 7-6. Wooster still had the bases loaded with two outs, but right fielder Kaitlin Burroughs caught a line drive to end the game.
Burroughs also had three hits as the Senators banged out 11 hits. "She has really been stepping up," Vickrey said.
Dacey Hassey also had a huge game with two doubles, including a two-run double. Robyn Conn had two hits, Liz Rankl, who returned at shortstop, doubled and Abby Rankl, Jamie Yenter and Christa Casci all added a hit.
In the opener Wooster jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first and still had the bases loaded with one out when Carvin got a popup and a fielder's choice to escape the jam without any more damage.
But as Wooster extended the lead, the decision was made to pull Carvin in favor of Casci, who provided the Senators with two valuable innings.
"They came out the first inning of the first game and just lit us," Vickrey said. "They were on fire when they came out."
Carson could only muster three hits as Abbby Rankl, Burroughs and Jessica Ashbaugh all singled.
NEVADA 11, UTEP 3
Douglas High graduate Kaycee Wilcks, a freshman, went 1-for-2 with an RBI in the win for Nevada (21-21, 7-2 in the Western Athletic Conference).