Carson sweeps South Tahoe, gains third seed in upcoming regional playoffs
Nevada Appeal News Service
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE – There were almost too many subplots at play in the regular-season-ending softball doubleheader between Carson and South Tahoe high schools on Friday.
The Senators needed one of the two games to clinch the third seed for the upcoming regional tournament, Moriah Lane was playing against her former South Tahoe teammates and six seniors were putting on their Vikings’ uniform for the final time.
When the dust settled at Todd Fields, the Carson Senators used strong pitching to sweep the Sierra League doubleheader, 10-2 and 5-0.
And for the second straight day, Lane was a thorn in her former team’s side.
Lane, a junior who played her previous two seasons with the Vikings, knocked in three runs with two singles in the opener. That was enough support for Lindsey Ashbaugh, who earned a win for the second straight day. Ashbaugh finished with a three-hitter and eight strikeouts.
“She’s handled the pressure well,” said Carson coach Scott Vickrey. “She came up here doing what she’s done all year for us.”
Carson jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the first inning and doubled that lead in the second.
“That made it little easier being up 4-0 in the first. It’s a little more of where you don’t feel tight if you make an error,” Vickrey said.
South Tahoe’s Mel Smith connected for two of the three hits off Ashbaugh, and she and Ashley Killeen were the only Vikings to cross home plate in the two games.
Besides Lane, the Senators had many offensive stars in the opener. Lisa Yamamoto belted out three hits; Emily Collins delivered two hits; Jocelyn Young scored twice; and Lauren Knorzer crushed two of the hardest hit balls all day, but the Vikings’ well-placed outfield and deep fences made both shots long outs. Knorzer and Darla Leid each collected a hit.
In the second game, Carson’s Natalie carried a no-hitter into the fifth inning but Emily Rives’ base hit gave STHS fans something to cheer about.
Krissy Guarino, who was strong in relief in the opener, kept the Carson bats relatively quiet in the second game.
Young scored the first run in the third inning on a single by Lane. Yamamoto made it 2-0 with a home run in the fifth.
The Senators broke it open in the top of the seventh when Knorzer was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded and Morgan Kleine popped a two-run double to left in front of a diving Sarah Breisacher.
South Tahoe loaded the bases in the bottom of the seventh against Christina Gallegos, but a force at home and a comebacker to Gallegos got Carson out of the jam.
About the only thing Lane didn’t get Friday was the Carson home run record. Lane has seven homers for the season – one off Cassie Vondrak’s school record set two years ago.
Carson finished league with a 14-7 record, while STHS wound up 1-20. The Senators will be the third seed and face Reed in the opening round of the playoffs on Thursday.