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Nevada Comets third in first tournament

Staff Reports

One-run decisions turned out favorably over the weekend as the Nevada Comets 12-and-under softball team opened its season with a third-place finish during a 16-team a National Softball Association (NSA) Western National Qualifier in Sacramento.

The Comets posted a 4-2 tournament record, with all four wins decided by a single run. They were knocked out of the tournament with a 7-1 loss to the Lady Magic from Elk Grove, Calif., in the championship bracket semifinals on Sunday.

Cassie Vondrak and Kelli McKeegan pitched no-hitters to provide highlights for the Comets.

After losing their first game, 3-0 to the Roseville (Calif.) Slammers, the Comets rebounded to defeat the Grants Pass (Ore.) Blaze 2-1 behind McKeegan’s no-hitter. She struck out eight and allowed one unearned run. Taylor Kerr doubled, while Haley Gadsby and Teryn Hughes contributed base hits to help the Comets win.

The Comets used a last-inning rally to win their next game, a 6-5 triumph against the Foothill Gold. They scored four runs in the sixth, with Becky Moore delivering the game-winning hit. Vondrak hit 3-for-3, while Erica McKenzie and Ashley Collier went 2-for-3 to lead the offense. Collier pitched six innings of five-hit ball to pick up the win.

Sunday started on an upbeat note as Vondrak pitched her no-hitter and the Comets staged another last-inning rally to defeat Nor Cal, 2-1. Vondrak struck out nine and walked none.

The Comets scored twice in their last at-bat to win the game. McKenzie doubled, McKeegan walked, Vondrak drove home the tying run and Gadsby drove home the game-winner on a sacrifice.

Next, the Comets defeated Grants Pass 5-4 in another one-run thriller in the quarterfinals. McKeegan pitched a four-hitter and walked none to pick up the win and helped her own cause by hitting 2-for-3. Kerr also homered and Vondrak went 1-for-2 with a double.

In their semifinal loss to the Lady Magic, Courtney Darby hit 2-for-2 for the Comets.

For the tournament, Vondrak hit for a .583 average, McKenzie hit .462, Kerr .455, Collier .438 and McKeegan .417.