Dayton softball splits with Manogue
DAYTON – Nicole Greer pitched a two-hitter and was supported by some timely hitting and defense as the Dayton High School softball team defeated Bishop Manogue, 3-1, in the opening game of an important Northern 3A doubleheader on Saturday.
Manogue rebounded to win game two, 7-2, and maintain its hold on first-place in the conference standings. The Miners now lead with an 8-2 (13-10 overall) record, followed by Dayton (5-3, 6-6) and Lowry.
“It was very important for us to get the split,” Dayton coach Dusti Houk said. “This places us in at least a tie for second-place.”
In game one, the Dust Devils rallied from an early 1-0 deficit as they scored all three of their runs in the fourth inning. Kaitlen McKinnon singled to lead off the rally and scored when Jessie Ayres hit a one-out triple into right field. Ayres scored the go-ahead run on when Greer lined a shot off the pitcher’s glove. Greer scored after an error to give Dayton its 3-1 lead.
“We got the timely hits, we played good defense and Nicole threw well,” Houk said.
Greer allowed two hits to go with 11 strikeouts and one walk. Tara Beck was equally effective in pitching the distance for Manogue, as she allowed four hits, struck out 12 and issued two walks.
Beck also accounted for both of Manogue’s hits and scored an unearned run for the Miners in the second inning.
Manogue put two runners aboard with two outs in the seventh inning, but Greer retired the side on a ground ball to McKinnon at second base.
Ayres hit 2-for-2 to lead Dayton offensively.
The tables were turned in game two when Manogue scored four runs in the first inning and held on the rest of the way to win.
“That first inning hurt us,” Houk said. “We didn’t play good defense, and it showed because they scored four runs without getting a hit.”
The timely hitting wasn’t there for Dayton, either. The Dust Devils struck out six times against Heather Gonzales, with four of those coming on called strike three pitches. The Dust Devils struck out looking twice to end the second inning with two runners aboard.
“They know how I feel about the backward Ks,” Houk said. “Our goal every time we go up there is to make contact – to put the ball in play.”
Dayton cut its deficit to 4-2 in the third inning when Ayres drove Keeli Garcia home on a bad hop single past shortstop, then Sara Simmons was waved home after an illegal pitch.
Manogue added one more runs in the fifth inning and two runs in the seventh to extend its lead to 7-2. Dayton put two runners aboard in the seventh before Katie Wilson came on to pitch in relief and retired the side.
Greer pitched into the seventh inning, allowed five hits, struck out seven and walked none.
The Dust Devils have a busy week coming up, starting with a nonconference game on Monday at Reed. They travel to Reno on Tuesday to play Damonte Ranch, then visit Whittell for a game on Thursday at Lampe Park in Gardnerville and play a conference doubleheader against Fernley on Friday.
Experience was the difference as Manogue maintained its hold on first-place in the Northern 3A by sweeping past Dayton, 15-7 and 14-2.
“We’re better team than that; we didn’t get it done,” Dayton coach Craig Miller said. “We just weren’t totally focused like we needed to be. We had bits and spurts where we showed we could play with them or anybody else.”
Then again, Manogue is the two-time defending 3A state champion and winner of four state titles in the last five years. The Miners are now 11-1 in the conference.
“That’s the nature of the beast with a team that’s been there before,” Miller said. ” It’s the experience. They don’t lose their composure. They know what it takes and we’ve got to be able to ladder to get to that experience level.”
The Dust Devils are still part of four-team scramble for second-place in the Northern 3A. Tahoe-Truckee is 9-3 after sweeping Rite of Passage on Saturday, and North Tahoe 9-3 after splitting with Lowry. Dayton and Lowry are tied at 8-4.
Matt Bowman hit 3-for-3 with two home runs, a double and six RBIs for Dayton in game one. The senior shortstop hit a two-run homer in the first inning to give the Dust Devils a 2-0 lead, then he cleared the left field fence with a two-out, three-run blast in the fifth. That second home run enabled Dayton to cut its deficit to 7-6, but the Miners answered with three runs of their own in the top of the sixth. Manogue added five more runs in the seventh to pull away and make a winner of Manny McElroy, who pitched the distance for the win.
Nick Magnuso and Glenn DeWeese both hit 3-for-4 to lead Manogue offensively. McElroy helped his own cause as he hit 2-for-4 with a double and two RBIs.
Dayton finished with 10 hits, led by Bowman’s three hits and Daniel Hopper 2-for-4. Bowman also went 1-for-2 with his double.
In game two, McElroy hit a two-run homer in the first inning to give Manogue a 3-0 lead. The Miners broke it open with six runs in the fourth, hightlighted by Magnuso’s three-run homer.
Dayton scored twice in the first inning. Andrew Rice walked, Bowman doubled, Tim Torres hit an RBI single and Andy Salazar followed with a grounder to second base to drive another run home.