Carson baseball team salvages win in series
After blowing a 10-run lead to Douglas in the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader, it was only fitting that Carson won the second game on an error.
Mariah Hartley’s heads-up baserunning in the bottom of the eighth and stout relief pitching by Natalie Morrow gave Carson a 7-6 win and a split in the Sierra League doubleheader.
Douglas, which won the opener 12-10, improved to 3-3 overall and 2-1 in league. Carson fell to 2-4 overall and 1-2 in league.
Douglas led Game 2, 6-3 after three innings, but Carson roared back with three of its own in the fifth to tie the game. Neither team scored in the sixth or seventh, sending it to extra innings.
Douglas stranded runners at second and third in the top of the eighth, and the Senators made the Tigers pay in the bottom of the inning to avoid a series sweep.
Hartley led off with a slow roller between first and second base. Breanna White made a nice play to reach the ball, but her flip throw got by first baseman Morgan Blomstrom. Hartley never slowed down and was able to get to second base.
“I saw that the ball had been dropped,” Hartley said. “If the ball had been caught (at first base), the coaches would have been yelling at me (to stay).”
Morrow dropped down a sacrifice bunt and made it to first on a Blomstrom error. Emily Collins flied to right, but the ball was dropped, allowing Hartley to score easily.
“I know Bob (Carvin, Carson base coach) was in her ear,” Carson coach Scott Vickrey said. “She has enough ball under her belt to know what’s going on.”
Vickrey also praised the work of Morrow, who allowed only two runs in six innings of relief work. She allowed five hits and struck out.
“She really did a good job,” Vickrey said. “I had her throwing in the bullpen the first game (and almost brought her in). She kept the ball around the plate.”
Douglas took a 1-0 lead on a first-inning single by Blomstrom. Carson bounced back with three in the second thanks to a sacrifice fly by Collins and a two-run double by Jocelyn Young.
Douglas grabbed the lead 6-3 in the third, scoring five times and taking advantage of a two-run error by Marissa Lucido. Maddy Gilbert and Katrina Morgan also had run-scoring hits in the surge.
Carson tied the game in the sixth as Daria Leid singled home a run and Lauren Knorzer doubled home a run. Hartley’s one-out roller to second tied the game at 6.
Moriah Lane, a transfer from South Tahoe, led Carson’s offense with three. She went 6-for-8 in the doubleheader.
In the opening game, Carson jumped out to a 10-0 lead after three innings, scoring four in the first, one in the second and five in the third.
Lane’s double made it 1-0 and run-scoring singles by Daria Leid and Knorzer made it 3-0. Hartley’s sacrifice fly made it 4-0. Lane made it 5-0 with a run-scoring single in the second. In the third, a two-run error made it 7-0, and Lane ended the scoring with a three-run homer.
“She (Lane) hit the heck out of the ball,” Vickrey said. “She really picked it up today.”
Meanwhile, Leid was cruising in the circle. She retired the first 11 hitters of the game before yielding back-to-back homers to Morgan and Blomstrom, which cut the deficit to 10-2.
The Tigers struck for five runs in the fifth, two coming on a Morgan single. A passed ball and run-scoring hits by Nikki Chavez and Weaver cut the lead to 10-7.
Douglas didn’t waste the momentum it had built up. The Tigers used two errors at first by Knorzer, a run-scoring wild pitch, two hit batsmen by reliever Christina Gallegos and singles by Weaver and Gilbert to score five runs and take a 12-10 lead.
Reliever Chelsea Fent picked up the save with a scoreless inning of relief.
“I’ve never seen anything like that,” Douglas coach Andy Mitchell said. “I just wanted to see us get a little closer; get a little confidence. I didn’t think we were going to win. We kept scoring and our confidence kept growing.
“We won the series and that was the goal.”