Carson softball beats Spanish Springs
By her own admission, Ariadne Gonzalez was a little rattled after being hit by a pitch in her third straight at-bat Friday afternoon. The Carson High School senior catcher didn’t get mad, she merely got even by turning a heads-up base running play into what proved to be the decisive run for the Senators in their 4-3 nonleague softball victory at home against Spanish Springs.
After being hit by a pitch in the bottom of the fifth inning, Gonzalez stole second base, then advanced to third on a delayed steal and came home on the play when the throw sailed down the left field line to give the Senators a 4-2 lead. The insurance turned out to be important because Spanish Springs scored once in the top of the seventh and had the potential tying run on second before Carson starter Lindsay Farnworth induced a pop fly to Jamie Yenter at second base for the game-ending out.
Even though the win didn’t figure into the standings, it was important to the Senators (4-2 overall, 1-2 league) before their 1:30 p.m. Sierra League doubleheader today at North Valleys.
“This was a big win to get our confidence back,” coach Scott Vickrey said. “We have two big games tomorrow and I think the girls were feeling a little bit of pressure to get a win.
“We got the bat on the ball when we needed to. We got timely hits, unlike our last game,” Vickrey added, referring to Carson’s 4-1 league loss against Reno on Tuesday. “And good aggressive base running by Gonzo helped out.”
Gonzalez, who was batting cleanup, drove in a run when she was hit in the helmet with the bases loaded in the third inning. In the fifth, she was hit in the leg with one out and promptly stole second base. Moments later, she saw an opening and made her break for third.
“I knew the game was pretty tight and I saw the catcher really wasn’t paying attention to me, so after the pitch, I decided to run when she threw the ball back to the pitcher,” Gonzalez said.
“Ariadne always has the green light,” Vickrey said. “She’s been playing ball a long time, so she knows what to do out there. In that instance, she saw the opportunity and took advantage of it.”
Carson scored twice in the third to take a 2-0 lead. Mandy Carvin was hit by a pitch to lead off the inning, took second on an error and Liz Rankl reached on a bunt single to load the bases. After Spanish Springs catcher Devin Steelman picked a runner off third for the first out, Farnworth singled to load the bases again, Gonzalez was beaned to bring one run home and then Rankl scored on a wild pitch.
Spanish Springs got one run back in the top of the fourth when Ryan Mendible homered over the left field fence. The homer came with one out and broke up Farnworth’s bid for a no-hitter.
The Senators answered with a run of their own in the bottom of the fourth when Jessica Grant and Jamie Yenter drew back-to-back walks, Katie Davis singled to load the bases and Rankl bounced a single into center field to score one run. Spanish Springs center fielder Amber Stewart threw a strike home to Steelman, who tagged out Yenter trying to score for the third out. Steelman was bowled over and sustained a knee injury that knocked her out of the game, but she held on to the ball for the putout.
Rankl went 3-for-3 with one RBI to lead Carson’s six-hit attack. Abbay Fox went 2-for-4 with RBI doubles in the fifth and seventh innings for the Cougars.
Farnworth, in her first starting assignment as a pitcher this season, threw a complete game four-hitter, issued just one walk and struck out two batters.
“I think this was a good game to bring our team together,” Gonzalez said. “We really played well as a team today.”
Carson scored 11 runs in the first inning en route to a 15-5 win over Spanish Springs.
Crystal Murillo was the winning pitcher and helped her own cause with a double, two RBIs and three runs scored. Sarah Evans also hit 3-for-3 with two RBIs, Jessica Quevedo hit 2-for-3, scored two runs and drove in another and Kaitlin Burroughs had a double in the third inning. Defensively, Brittani Dutton was a standout behind the plate for Carson.