BY DARRELL MOODY
Appeal Sports Writer
Winning games doesn't come easy for the Carson Valley Hot Shots. They usually find themselves tied or behind in the first half of a game, only to stage a big rally late in the game to win.
The Gardnerville-based squad followed that script Wednesday and notched two close wins to reach the winner's bracket semifinals of the 14-B Division at the National Softball Association Western World Series at Centennial Park.
In its morning game, the Hot Shots snapped a 1-all tie with three runs in the sixth en route to a 4-1 win over the Desert Valley Dynomite. In its second game, the Hot Shots pushed across a run in the sixth to edge the Elko Inferno 2-1.
The Hot Shots will meet the Fallon Elite today at 2 at Centennial.
"We're a come-from-behind team," said Tom Keck, the Hot Shots head coach. "I know they are going to hit once they get used to the pitching. Desert Valley has always played us tough. This was the sixth or seventh time we've played them this year."
Katie Kluever gave the Hot Shots a 1-0 lead with her first-inning double. She was, however, thrown out at third trying to stretch the hit into a triple.
Hot Shots starter Kalee Duryee was nicked for a run on Jordan King's two-out single.
The game stayed deadlocked until the bottom of the sixth.
Amanda Caras singled and scored on Kaylee Duryee's double to the gap in right-center field. The other two runs scored on an error and a stolen base by Jenna Geyer.
Duryee, who retired 12 of the last 14 hitters she faced, didn't allow a ball out of the infield in the last inning. She struck out four, walked three and allowed only four hits.
Caras led the Hot Shots with three hits, while Kluever and Duryee added two apiece.
In the nightcap, it was Chelsea Fent's time to dominate on the mound. She fanned seven and walked only one to pick up her second win of the tournament.
The Hot Shots led 1-0 in the third, but Elko rebounded with a run in the sixth to tie the contest.
With one out, Caras singled, reached second on an infield out, stole third and scored the game-winner on a single by Geyer.
Nevada Wildcats 7, Lady Bruins 6
Jen Purcell's sacrifice fly scored Kayla Batastini with the winning run in the ninth inning.
Batastini, who was starting at second base in the international tie-breaker format, moved to third on a wild pitch. After Amy Pender lined out, Purcell lofted a 1-2 pitch to right and Batastini easily beat the throw home to make it 7-6.
The Lady Bruins' Julia Apodaca tried to bunt Danielle Moody to third base, but popped out to first base. Winning pitcher Ashley Reese got the next two hitters on groundballs to win the game.
Coach Troy Batastini said the wild pitch was huge in the ninth.
"That means the first out on a sacrifice could be the go-ahead run," he said. "I'm proud of them. This was a good win against a good team."
The Wildcats got a huge play from Bailey West in the eighth inning. With two outs and the bases loaded, West fouled off 11 pitches before drawing a walk to give the Wildcats a 6-5 lead.
"That was huge," coach Batastini said.
The Lady Bruins scored a run in the bottom of the inning to send the game to the ninth.
Reese allowed just three hits in six innings to pick up the win. She fanned eight and walked one.
Kelly Lujan led the offense with three hits. Kayla Batastini tripled home two runs and doubled.
Cinthia Valdez led the Lady Bruins with two outs.
Galt Illusion 6, Carson Sharks 3
The Sharks were seconds away from a possible win when a mental lapse allowed Galt to tie the game in the top of the seventh, and then Catelyn Parker's two-run homer in the eighth capped the victory.
The Sharks return to action today at 10 against the Winnemucca Gold Rush at Edmonds Sports Complex.
Trailing 3-2 and with two outs, pinch-runner McKenna Cuttenlilli was safe on a close play at the plate to tie the game at 3 after Sharks pitcher Mikayla Jackson threw behind her.
Carson still had a chance to win in the bottom of the inning, but Erika Watson got a late break off third on an infield roller and was cut down at the plate on a nice throw by the Galt first baseman.
The game went to an international tiebreaker in the seventh where the offense starts with a runner at second and no outs.
Carly Hintz, who led Galt with two hits, put her team ahead with a roller to first. Parker followed with her homer to center to make it 6-3.
Carson went quietly in the seventh, grounding three balls to the Galt third baseman.
"You still have to remember they are 10 and 11," said Carson coach Julio Sandoval, who said that Jackson shouldn't have thrown to third base.
Galt's Alex McCoin threw five innings of shutout ball in relief of starter Ariel Alden. She threw much slower than Alden, and Carson hitters never adjusted at the plate.
"When she was warming up, I thought she was working on her change-up," Sandoval said.
Dayton Prowlers 9, High Sierra Diamonds 96 4
Drop Zone 12, Dayton Prowlers 0
It was a mixed bag for the first-year Prowlers, who opened bracket play with a nice win, but were held to one hit in their second game.
Makayla Shadle was impressive against High Sierra, striking out nine and pitching the entire game.
Serena Cazel and Jemma Ramirez collected two hits apiece in the win, while Becca Breuer, Skylar Jones and Jessie Miller added one hit apiece. Cazel, Breuer and Jones all scored two runs.
Ashley Vickers got the Prowlers' only hit in the setback against the Drop Zone.
The Prowlers return to action at 10 a.m. today at Edmonds.
Carson Sharks 6, Elk Grove Thunder 1
The Sharks wiped out a 1-0 deficit with six runs in the sixth en route to a win in their opening game of the double-elimination portion of the tournament at the Golden Eagle Complex in Sparks.
Lindsey Ashbaugh fanned five and allowed just three hits in her seven-inning effort. She helped herself at the plate with a two-run double.
Breann Perry singled in two runs, Taylor Rae-Canfield singled home a run and Lisa Yamamoto doubled home a run in the sixth.
Morgan Kleine and Ashley Saarem contributed two hits for the Sharks. K.C. Withrow and Elayna Shine had a hit apiece.
The Sharks face Drop Zone today at noon at the new Golden Eagle Complex. If the Sharks win, they return to action at 4 p.m.
10 AND UNDER
Lassen 9, Carson Sharks 4
Erica Gallegos struck out four over three innings and Michelle Perry struck out two over two innings for the Sharks. Makenzie Tucker, Perry, Sara Runge, Jazmyn Conde and Kali Lucido all had a hit for the Sharks. The Sharks play at 10 a.m. today at Stodick Park.