What a difference a day makes for the Carson High softball team. After a disappointing 9-0 loss to Fallon on Thursday, the Senators came back to sweep both of their games on Friday in the Preseason Tournament of Champions near Sacramento.
Carson beat two Northern California teams, Christian Brothers and Will C. Wood to finish 2-1 in pool play in its 16-team bracket. The Senators finished in a three-way tie with Fallon and Will C. Wood for first.
But Carson was hurt by giving up nine runs to Fallon as the tiebreaker came down to runs allowed, placing the Senators third in their pool. The third place finish kept Carson out of the top eight finishers in pool play, so the Senators will play two games today and will be looking to finish ninth.
The Senators beat Christian Brothers 10-4 and then defeated Will C. Wood 7-3 in nine innings.
Cassie Vondrak went the distance for Carson and also escaped a jam in the sixth inning that forced the game to go to extra innings. The time limit forced the game to go to extra innings after the sixth.
With the score tied 2-2, Will C. Wood threatened to win the game in the bottom of the sixth when it loaded the bases with one out. But Vondrak got a groundball to Christa Casci at shortstop and Casci nailed the runner at the plate. Vondrak then got another groudout to Casci, who threw to first to end the inning.
"The second game was incredible," said Carson coach Scott Vickrey about the contest against Will C. Wood. "Everybody really started clicking. We started looking like a team at that point and time."
In extra innings, the international tiebreaker was used in which each team begins with a runner at second and no outs.
Neither team could break through until Carson scored five runs in the ninth. Elizabeth Cagle began as the runner at second and moved to third on Nikki Keller's sacrifice bunt. Keller reached on an error on the play.
Daria Leid followed with an RBI single and K.C. Withrow and Loretta Cagle both walked to force in a run. After a run scored on a fielder's choice, Katie McEwan concluded the rally with a two-run triple.
Carson scored two runs in the fourth when Abby Rankl walked and scored on Keller's triple. Keller then scored on a bad pickoff throw to third.
Leid had two hits and Casci added a hit. Vondrak pitched a six-hitter, allowing one earned run through the first six innings. She finished with five strikeouts and one walk. "She mixed up her pitches very well, changed her speeds very well," Vickrey said.
Against Christian Brothers, Carson jumped out to a 5-0 lead in a game that was called after five innings due to the time limit. Leid went the distance, allowing no earned runs on two hits while striking ot five and walking two.
In the first, McEwan and Casci singled, Keller, Vondrak and Leid all hit RBI singles and Loretta Cagle hit a two-run single. Vondrak and Leid singled and scored in the third.
In the fourth, Vondrak singled and scored on Leid's triple. Belen Munoz followed with an RBI single.
Casci's RBI single finished the scoring in the fifth. Leid went 3-for-3 with a triple, Vondrak went 3-for-4 and Casci added two hits.