Paque silences Carson offense
With playoffs fast approaching, Northern 4A teams want to be playing their best softball of the season.
After two days of the current week, that memo hasn’t reached Carson High’s players yet.
The fifth-place Senators, who have already clinched a playoff berth, dropped their second straight game, 9-1, to Damonte Ranch Wednesday afternoon at Carson.
Carson, in the middle of a five-game week, hosts Fallon in a non-league game today at 3:45 p.m. Jen Purcell will start in the circle for the Senators.
Carson finishes the regular season with an away game at Wooster on Friday and a home game Saturday against Douglas.
“(Damonte’s) Kalyn (Paque) is a good pitcher,” said Carson coach Scott Vickrey. “She threw a good game.
“We didn’t hit the ball today very well, but we’ll be fine. We did play better defense (nine errors on Tuesday and one Wednesday) and that’s a good thing.”
Paque fanned eight and walked one while giving up five hits. It was a much-improved effort over her last appearance against Carson when she allowed five runs.
“Her change-up is something she’s been working on since her freshman year,” Damonte coach Tierney Cahill said. “She’s finally able to get it over (consistently) and she kept them off balance.
“I always worry about Carson. They are a good-hitting team. Even in the seventh, I was worried.”
She shouldn’t have been. Other than the third inning, Carson never had a runner reach second base.
The drama went out of this one early when the Mustangs scored four in the second off starter Christa McGahuey.
After retiring the first two hitters of the game, Paque blistered a line drive to left field. McGahuey got Kerrigan Travens in an 0-2 hole, and the Damonte catcher blasted a homer to center on the next pitch.
“I wasn’t aware it was an 0-2 pitch,” Vickrey said. “If she went out and got a pitch on the edge, that’s fine. If she left it out over the middle of the plate … Christa just got the ball up a bit.”
Damonte upped the lead to 6-0 with four in the second.
Jahnel Smith singled to right to start the second. She moved to second on a walk to Bayli West, to third on an infield out and scored on a single by Adelle Oaks. Paque helped her own cause with a three-run homer to center to make it 6-0.
“Kalyn has been hitting the ball well,” Cahill said. “She has such quick hands.”
The Senators scored their only run in the third, and that run was unearned.
Kandis Tuttle reached on a one-out error by Paque.
The pitcher’s throw went deep into right field, allowing Tuttle reached third on the play. She scored on Emily Collins’ infield out.
Ellise McGowan singled and reached third on McGahuey’s double; however, Paque caught Purcell looking at a third strike to end the inning.
McGahuey left in the fourth after hitting back-to-back hitters with two outs. Lindsey Ashbaugh retired Travens on an infield roller to end the threat.
Ashbaugh got through the fifth and sixth, stranding two runners in the fifth and one in the sixth.
The Mustangs tacked on three insurance runs in the seventh off Ashbaugh, as Mackenzie Hospodka, Bailey West and Jahnel Smith singled. Jasmine Chappell and Meghan