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Carson softball drops three at Reed Tournament

DARRELL MOODY
Appeal Sports Writer

SPARKS – It was a day Carson High’s softball team would rather forget.

The Senators didn’t pitch well, didn’t field well and didn’t hit well. All that led to three consecutive losses on the opening day of the Reed Invitational Friday at the Shadow Mountain Softball Complex.

Carson opened with an 11-2 loss to perennial powerhouse McQueen and then dropped a 9-2 decision to Wooster. The Senators concluded their day with a 7-2 loss to Sac-Joaquin Section powerhouse Tokay.

“We struggled in the circle and we struggled at the plate,” said Carson coach Scott Vickrey, whose team returns to action at 12:30 p.m. “If we’re down in one area, you usually pick yourself in the other. We didn’t do that today.

“We faced three pitchers that weren’t that dominating; nothing that we hadn’t seen before. We just didn’t swing the bats.”

Carson managed just 13 hits in three games and made 10 errors, including six against McQueen.

In each of the losses, one bad inning spelled doom for the Senators.

McQueen opened the game with six runs, as Katie Eshelman led off the game with a homer and also hit a two-run double.

The Lancers added three in the third to make it 9-0, and Eshelman later hit a two-run homer in the fourth to complete a 3-for-3 5-RBI day and make it 11-2.

Both Carson’s runs came in the fourth when Kaitlin Burroughs and Dacey Hassey slugged inside-the-park homers. Loretta Cagle and Abby Rankl singled for the only other Carson hits.

The game was stopped after 4 1/2 innings because of the seven-run mercy rule in use for the tournament.

Against Wooster, Carson led 2-1 after four, but fell victim to an eight-run fifth inning. Three times in the inning, Carson outfielders allowed balls to reach the gaps because they took poor angles to the ball.

The Colts’ Karen Henjum was in control in the circle, allowing only three hits. Liz Rankl went 2-for-3 and Hassey went 1-for-2.

“We didn’t bring our A game,” Vickrey said. “I’m still confident when they come to our place they will find themselves in a little more of a dogfight.”

Cassie Vondrak, who struggled throughout the day, allowed a two-out homer to Tokay’s A.J. Bonnet in the first.

Carson knotted the score at 1 in its half of the first when Christa Casci slammed a triple to left and scored on Rankl’s single.

Tokay scored three in the third when Jessica Dohretz dropped down a bunt single and scored on Libby Ceccletti’s two-run homer to centerfield. After Bonnet singled, Amanda Gresham slammed a double to left-center field to score Bonnet to make it 4-1.

Tokay knocked Vondrak from the box with three runs in the fourth, as Dohretz hit an infield single and scored on Ceccletti’s second two-run homer of the game. After retiring a batter, Gresham homered to left to make it 7-1. Casci came on in relief of Vondrak and retired the next batter.

“She (Vondrak) didn’t have the same snap and rotation on the ball that she’s had lately,” Vickrey said.

Carson scored its final run when Hassey forced Rankl at second base, moved to second on Candice Rutledge’s infield single and scored on an error.

The Senators loaded the bases with two outs on singles by Hassey, Rutledge and Cagle, but Bonnet retired Sarah Evans to end the game.

Rutledge led the Senators with two hits, while Rankl, Casci, Cagle and Hassey added one each.