Senators softball saves series with two wins

Kevin Clifford/Nevada Appeal

Kevin Clifford/Nevada Appeal

RENO " Carson High's softball team showed it doesn't have an ounce of quit.

The Senators came back in both games en route to 7-5 and 7-3 victories Saturday at Damonte Ranch.

Carson improved to 9-3 in Sierra League action.

"This is huge for us," Carson coach Scott Vickrey. "We went from losing the series (and possibly getting swept) to being in pretty good shape. If we learned anything from Thursday is that we can come back if we get behind.

"The girls came on strong both games. We hit the ball hard the whole second game but right at somebody. In the seventh we were able to find some openings."

Ace pitcher Cassie Vondrak was the winning pitcher in the opener, but left after 4.1 innings of the second game when she was struck by a line drive. Vickrey said she has a bruised right hand, and he's hopeful she'll return for the Reed Easter Tournament on Friday.

For the second straight game, Carson found itself in an early hole after the Mustangs scored three times in the first off Vondrak thanks to three hits and two errors in the outfield.

Carson got a run back in the second when Daria Leid singled and scored on Hannah Shaw's two-out blooper to right.

Damonte Ranch made it 4-1 on Ashleigh Westover's two-out run-scoring single.

Carson tied it in the top of the third with three runs. Kristin Withrow slammed the first of her two triples and Krista Mattice was hit by a pitch. Lauren Knorzer drove a double into the left-centerfield gap to score Withrow and Mattice.

Vondrak then helped her own cause with a run-scoring single up the middle.

The score remained tied until the top of the seventh when Carson scored three to take a 7-4 lead.

Withrow slammed a triple into the right-center field alley to start the inning. With the infield pulled in, Mattice drove a ball off the shortstop's glove for a single. Knorzer followed with a homer to left-center to make it 7-4.

"She's been on fire," Vickrey said. "We were talking before the game whether to start Lauren or Megan (at designated player), Lauren had a couple of hits and Megan had one, so we decided to go with Lauren."

Damonte Ranch pushed across a run in the bottom of the seventh on two singles and a sacrifice fly by McKinnon. Vondrak retired Caitlin Wolfe on a groundball to end the game.

Knorzer led the Carson attack with four hits and four RBI. Leid went 3-for-4 and Withrow went 2-for-4. Shaw, Munoz, Mattice and Vondrak all added a hit apiece.

The Mustangs opened the second game with two runs off Vondrak and added a third when McKinnon's hit a ball off Vondrak's hand to drive in a run. Leid came on to get the final two outs of the fifth inning.

Damonte took a 3-0 lead into the seventh when Munoz an d Mariah Hartley singled. Withrow walked to load the bases with nobody out. Mattice unloaded a bases-clearing double, tying the game at 3. Leid reached on an error and Megan Hein followed with a two-run single to make it 5-3. Elayna Shine squeezed home a run and then Munoz, up for the second time in the inning, singled home a run to complete the outburst.

Munoz led Carson with three hits, while Mattice, Vondrak and Hartley added two each. Hein, Shaw and Knorzer added a hit each.

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