It’s been a wild ride for the Carson High softball team all season and it just continued on Friday. And it’s not over yet.
The Senators find themselves one win from advancing to the State Championships after another improbable comeback to add to their resume this season when they beat Manogue 10-9 on Friday in the Northern 4A Championships at CHS.
Carson later fell to Spanish Springs 3-1. The Senators will play in an elimination game at 10 a.m. Saturday against McQueen at CHS. The winner will advance to face the Cougars later Saturday in the championship round and will also clinch a spot in next week’s State Championships at Bishop Gorman High School.
CHS coach Carlos Mendeguia made it clear that’s what his team has been playing for all along. “We’re here to play for championships,” he said.
Carson gave itself a chance to do just that when it overcame an 8-3 deficit against Manogue. Camryn Quilling’s three-run home run that bounced off the top of the left-fielder’s glove and over the fence gave CHS a 9-8 lead.
Caydee Farnworth followed with a solo shot that proved to be the difference, giving Carson a 10-8 lead. “We battle until the bitter end,” Mendeguia said. “That’s what I love about these girls.”
The improbable comeback was capped off by an improbable finish in the bottom of the seventh inning. Jailene Salciedo had come back into the game after starting on the mound for CHS and then giving way to Farnworth.
Manogue loaded the bases with no outs. An RBI sacrifice fly allowed Manogue to close to within 10-9. But then Carson made a mental error on the play, allowing the runner from second to advance to third still with one out.
No problem. When the Manogue runner took off to steal second, catcher Alex Salciedo threw toward second but her throw was cut off by second baseman Kailee Luschar, who threw back to Salciedo to nail the runner from third trying to score. Salciedo then induced a groundout to end it and pick up the win.
The comeback was made possible in the bottom of the sixth. Salciedo re-entered and got out of a jam when Manogue had runners at first and third with one out. Salciedo induced a comebacker and a groundball to end the threat.
Carson began its comeback in the sixth when Kassidy Cooley and Bella Kordonowy each hit RBI singles to bring CHS to within 8-5. In the seventh, Kedra Luschar singled and Salciedo was hit by a pitch. Carson scored on an error to pull within 8-6 and Quilling and Farnworth followed with their back-to-back shots.
Shannen VonDuering’s two-run single gave Carson a 3-2 lead in the fourth. Amaya Mendeguia, who began the sixth inning rally with a double, had three hits, including two doubles. Kailee Luschar also had three hits and two steals and Farnworth had two hits.
Cougars 3, Senators 1
Carson was held in check by the Northern 4A’s top pitcher in Tyra Clary, who pitched a complete game, allowing five hits. “She just kept us off balance at the plate,” Mendeguia said.
Kailee Luschar was hit by a pitch, stole second and scored on Kedra Luschar’s single to give CHS a 1-0 lead in the first. But the Cougars answered with three runs in the second to take a 3-1 lead.
Salciedo was outstanding on the mound for Carson, allowing two earned runs on six hits in her complete game effort. She was helped out by some outstanding defense in the fourth when Kedra Luschar from centerfield nailed a runner trying to score from second on a single thanks to a spectacular tag by Alex Salciedo.
In the fifth, Salciedo worked around two errors. After a sacrifice bunt gave the Cougars runners at second and third with one out, Salciedo induced a comebacker and nailed the runner trying to score from third at the plate and then induced a groundball to end the threat.
Kailee Luschar had two hits, Kedra Luschar had two stolen bases and Quilling and Cooley each added a hit for Carson.
Manogue 6, Douglas 5
Manogue must have been thinking it was deja vu all over again when Douglas overcame a 5-0 deficit after Alyssa Smokey hit a two-run homer in the seventh to tie the score 5-5. But the Miners eventually won it in the eighth to eliminate the Tigers.
“They have a lot of heart,” said Douglas coach John Glover about his team. “They battled until the end and that’s all you can ask for.”
Douglas was down 5-0 in the sixth when Jasmine McNinch and Smokey singled and Ryleigh Blaire followed with an RBI single. After Bailey Walter singled to load the bases, Ivy Barnes drew a walk to force in a run. Blaire then scored on a wild pitch to make it 5-3.
In the seventh, McNinch singled and Smokey followed with her game-tying shot. In the bottom of the seventh, Blaire from behind home plate threw out a runner trying to advance to third.
Walter then made a game-saving play at third when she made a diving stop of a groundball that ended up being an infield single that loaded the bases. Deztiny Vaughan then struck out the next batter on a 3-2 count to end the inning.
Douglas had a chance to take the lead in the eighth but couldn’t take advantage of Blaire’s leadoff double. Manogue loaded the bases with one out with the help of an error in the bottom of the eighth. Vaughan induced a groundball in which the runner was forced at home, but then walked the next batter to force in the winning run.
Vaughan was the tough luck loser, not allowing an earned run over 3 2/3 innings while striking out four. McNinch, Smokey, Blaire and Walter all had two hits and Vaughan and Kettja Bennett each added a hit for Douglas.
Dayton one win from state
Dayton also finds itself one win away from the 3A State Tournament after going 3-1 during the first two days of the Northern 3A Championships in Elko.
The Dust Devils will play Lowry at 9 a.m. today for the right to advance to the championship round to face Fernley. With a win, Dayton would also clinch a spot in next week’s State Championships in Mesquite.
Dayton opened the Northern 3A playoffs in impressive fashion with an 11-3 win over Elko on Thursday. Gabrielle Dickenson drove in a run in the second to give the Dust Devils a 1-0 lead.
Dayton scored four runs in the fifth to take a 6-0 lead. Elizabeth Vincent, Dickenson, and Amanda Woitas, all drove in runs during the inning.
Caliegh Onstott earned the win for Dayton. She went seven innings in her complete game effort, allowing three runs on six hits and striking out three.
Dayton totaled 11 hits in the game. Woitas went 3-for-5 and Tamia Powell added two hits for the Dust Devils.
Later on Thursday, Dayton fell to Fernley 8-0 as the Dust Devils were held to two hits. Julie Rogacs and Tamia Powell each had a hit for Dayton.
But Dayton came back to win twice on Friday, staying alive with a 9-6 win over Elko. Dayton was down 4-2 when it scored seven runs in the sixth to take a 9-4 lead. The big hit came when Powell hit a grand slam home run to give the Dust Devils a 9-4 lead.
Onstott pitched a complete game for the win. Dayton had 10 hits. Onstott, Dickenson and Woitas all had two hits for the Dust Devils.
Earlier on Friday, Dayton routed Spring Creek 10-0. Onstott threw a complete game three-hit shutout, striking out eight over six innings. The Dust Devils scored six runs in the sixth inning to take a 10-0 lead and win the game by the mercy rule. Woitas, Onstott, Rogacs and Aleea McGill-Howe all drove in runs during the inning.
McGill-Howe hit a two-run homer in the sixth and then Onstott followed with an RBI double to make it 10-0 and end the game. Powell hit a two-run homer in the fifth to give Dayton a 4-0 lead.
Dayton had 14 hits. Woitas went 3-for-4 and Onstott, Powell, Marissa Hein and Elizabeth Vincent all had two hits.
Sierra Lutheran baseball
Sierra Lutheran High School dropped both games in Friday’s opening round of the Northern 1A baseball tournament at Virginia City.
Wells won the first game, 11-3, and Mineral County rallied for a 7-6 victory.