Hot Shots, Wildcats runs come up short
By Charles Whisnand
Appeal Sports Editor
It was a frustrating day for the Carson Hot Shots 14 and under B and the Nevada Wildcat 12 and under A softball teams at the National Softball Association Western World Series.
Both teams had a chance to make runs at titles, but came up short.
There was one local team that won a title as the Carson Valley Hot Shots won the 10 and under B division. The Hot Shots beat the Tracy Titans twice for the title, winning 6-5 and 5-4.
In the 16 and under B division in Sparks the Carson Sharks finished as runner-ups, falling to the Spokane Villians in the championship round.
HOT SHOTS DROP TWO
The Carson Valley Hot Shots were three outs away from advancing to the championship round at Centennial Park, but the East County Hot Shots scored four runs in the bottom of the sixth inning for a 6-3 win.
Carson Valley then appeared to be well on its way to playing at least one if not two more games against East County in the championship round when it carried an 8-3 lead against Liberty into the top of the sixth inning. Carson Valley was one strike away from advancing to the championship round but Liberty rallied for six runs and held on for a 9-8 win to eliminate the Hot Shots, who finished third.
"We played hard, they just played a little harder," said Hot Shots coach Tom Keck about the Liberty game. "The whole tournament was strong. The girls played strong and I'm very proud of them and I hope Gardnerville is very proud of them because we came a long ways."
The sixth inning rally for Liberty began on an error, a hit batsman and a double steal. A two-run single made it 8-5 and another single gave Liberty runners at first and second with two outs.
Another RBI single made it 8-6 and a costly error in the outfield on the play gave Liberty runners at second and third. Down to its last strike, Liberty hit a two-run bloop single to make it 8-8 and followed with a bloop double to take a 9-8 lead. The Hot Shots couldn't rally in the bottom of the sixth.
Kaylee Duyree went the distance for the Hot Shots and only two of the nine runs she allowed were earned. Five of the six runs in the sixth were unearned.
Liberty took a 2-0 lead in the first on a dropped flyball. The Hot Shots rallied to take a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the first when Amanda Caras led off with a walk, Duyree singled, Jenna Geyer hit an RBI single and Maylena Martin belted a two-run single to make it 3-2.
The Hot Shots went up 6-2 in the second as Illiana Brown singled and Duyree and Geyer hit RBI singles during the rally. Carson Valley went up 8-3 after Duyree doubled and Geyer and Aalmah Paxson each had RBI singles.
Geyer and Duyree each had three hits and Chelsea Fent, Katie Kluever and Devin Scherbak all added a hit.
EAST COUNTY 6, CARSON VALLEY 3
Down 1-0, Carson Valley took a 3-1 lead in the fourth when Martin and Kelly Sonnemann both singled. Caras followed with an RBI single and Duyree hit a two-run single to make it 3-1.
East County closed to within 3-2 in the bottom of the fourth, but then Fent, who struck out seven in going the distance, escaped a bases loaded jam with one out as she got a strikeout and a popup.
Carson Valley had a chance to extend its lead in the fifth when Geyer, Martin and Fent all singled to load the bases with one out, but winning pitcher Brianna Simpson escaped the jam.
In the sixth, a dropped flyball and a walk was followed by a sacrifice bunt attempt. Martin threw to third, but the runner was ruled safe on a bang-bang play, loading the bases with no outs.
Morgan Perry belted what turned out to be the game-winning hit, a three-run triple and scored on a wild pitch for the final margin as 90-minute time limit expired.
East County took a 1-0 lead and had runners at second and third with one out when it laid down a sacrifice bunt. But Fent bluffed a throw to first and tagged out the runner breaking to the plate. After walking the next batter to load the bases, Fent got a strikeout to end the threat.
Martin went 3-for-3 and Duyree had two hits.
RIALTO RAGE 4, NEVADA WILDCATS 2
The Wildcats settled for fifth at Edmonds Park after a frustrating loss against the Rage in a game in which they committed six errors, had four baserunners thrown out and made a tactical error at the end of the game.
"We were hoping for something more," said Wildcats coach Troy Batastini about the fifth place finish. "Fifth is not bad."
In the bottom of the fifth the Wildcats were down 4-1 with one out when Jahnel Smith walked. Thinking there was still several minutes left, the Wildcat coaches made the decision to have Smith intentionally run into an out so they could play an extra inning.
Smith actually stole second, but was thrown out at third and that's when the Wildcats found out the time was actually up. Danielle Steward went on to walk and Shaliah Johns singled.
With runners at second and third, Kelly Lujan beat out a bunt single to score a run, but then on a pickoff attempt at third, Lujan tried to advance to second and was thrown out to end the game.
"They played well. They never got blown out," said Batastini, noting that his team's two losses came by scores of 3-1 and 4-2. "I think if the coaches watched their watches a littler closer, this one would have been a little closer."
Starting pitcher Ashley Reese allowed two earned runs through four innings while Danika Batastini pitched a scoreless fifth, striking out two. Reese fell behind 3-0 in the second, but then escaped a bases-load, one out jam when she induced a comebacker and began a home-to-first double play.
While the Wildcats struggled defensively at times, they actually made some clutch defensive plays to keep the game close. In the third, Johns nailed a runner trying to score from right field. In the fourth, Jen Purcell caught a line drive in left and threw to first for a double play.
The Wildcats closed to within 3-1 when Kacy Fritsen and Purcell singled. With runners at second and third and no out, Fritsen tried to score on a sacrifice bunt on the throw to first, but was nailed at the plate for a double play. Purcell went on to score on a balk.
Batastini and Bayli West each added a hit for the Wildcats. "We came out a little tight and made a couple of mistakes at the beginning that hurt us and that was the difference of the game," coach Batastini said.