Two late rallies were the difference Saturday as Damonte Ranch swept both ends of a Sierra League doubleheader at Carson, winning 9-6 and 1-0.
Damonte Ranch scored four runs in the top of the seventh to break a 5-5 tie in the opener, then Ashley Westover's two-out single in the sixth inning drove home the only run the Mustangs needed in game two.
Carson is now 4-8 in league, 12-10 overall.
"They were good ball games, we just came up short," Carson coach Scott Vickrey said. "It was that kind of series. We had some opportunities, we just couldn't quite get things to go our way."
In game one, Damonte Ranch jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the top of the first inning, sparked by Tela Irwin's grand-slam.
Carson battled back with two runs in the third inning, two more runs in the fourth and another run in the fifth to tie the score at 5.
Abby Rankl blasted a one-run home run over the fence in right-center field then Nikki Keller singled and eventually scored on a wild pitch in the third. Rankl doubled one run home and Keller followed with a run-scoring single in the fourth. Loretta Cagle singled and scored on Crista Casci's RBI single to tie the score in the fifth.
Damonte Ranch broke the tie in the seventh on Megan Frankl's two-run single.
Keller pitched the seven-inning distance for Carson. She allowed nine runs (four earned) on 12 hits and two walks. Amanda Webster pitched the final 4.2 innings in relief to earn credit for the win for Damonte Ranch.
Webster came back to pitch a two-hit shutout to win game two.
Damonte scored its only run when Alexi McKinnon singled, advanced on a sacrifice bunt and scored on Westover's single.
Carson threatened in the seventh when Daria Leid singled with one out and advanced to second when Cagle was hit by a pitch, only to see the Mustangs turned a double play to end the game.
Keller singled in the fourth to account for Carson's only other hit.
Cassie Vondrak pitched the distance for the Senators. She allowed seven hits, struck out six and walked none.
Carson hosts Reno for a single game this coming Thursday and then the two teams play a doubleheader on Saturday at Reno.
DAYTON, FERNLEY SPLIT
The Northern 3A race remains a logjam after Dayton and Fernley split a softball doubleheader on Saturday at Dayton.
Dayton took the first game, 3-0, on the strength of a two-hit and 10-strikeout performance by Mackenzie Cole. Fernley grabbed the second game 6-1 on a four-hitter by Sarah Mello.
Dayton, Fernley and Spring Creek are all tied with 7-2 conference records. The top three finishers host zone series' in early May.
Cole (2-for-3) helped herself in the first with a triple and Brittany Burrows followed with a run-scoring single. Burrows moved up to second on a sacrifice bunt and eventually scored on a single by Breann DeHaven, who went 3-for-3 in the opener.
Dayton made it 3-0 in the fourth on DeHaven's run-scoring double.
Fernley had chances to score in the fourth when it stranded runners at second and third, and in the sixth when Hill (2-for-3) made a good throw to retire a runner at third for the second out. Fernley tried to steal a base but was unsuccessful.
In the nightcap, Dayton scored its only run in the sixth when Hill doubled, moved to third on an infield out and scored on an error. Hill and Cole each went 1-for-3 withn a double.
CARSON JVS SWEEP
Carson High's junior varsity improved to 12-0 in Sierra League play and 16-2 overall after a doubleheader sweep of Damonte Ranch, 17-2 and 18-7.
Natalie Morrow went the distance and fanned eight in the first game, which was stopped because of the 10-run rule.
Carson took control early with eight runs in the second inning. Damonte scored single runs in the second and third.
In the first game, Lauren Knorzer collected three hits and drove in four runs, while Megan Hein, Morrow and Elyana Shine all drove in two runs and collected two hits. Marissa Lucido added two hits for the Senators.
In the second game, Carson ended the game in the sixth on the 10-run rule when Hein, who had three hits, hit a two-run homer.
Caitlin Sinclair scored four times, collected two hits and drove in two runs. Knorzer contributed three hits and two RBI, Shine added a double, triple and two RBI, Morrow added two hits and two RBI, Christina Gallegos drove in two runs and Lisa Yamamoto drove in two runs.