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PREPS: Carson girls sweep Tigers

Darrell Moody
dmoody@nevadaappeal.com

Carson High used some gutty pitching by Christina Gallegos, clutch hitting by Christa McGahuey and Lisa Yamamoto, and some leaky defense by visiting Douglas en route to a doubleheader sweep Saturday afternoon in Sierra League softball action.

In the opener, Gallegos survived a shaky first inning to pitch a 4-hitter in a 10-0 win in 4 2/3 innings. In the second game, the Senators scored six sixth-inning runs to wipe out a 3-1 deficit and win 7-4.

Carson improved to 10-3 in league while Douglas dropped to 4-9. The sweep by the Senators sets up a showdown next Saturday against co-leader Damonte Ranch. First pitch is tentatively set for 1 p.m.

“We talk to them all the time about playing one game at a time,” Carson coach Scott Vickrey said. “The way I understand the tiebreaker is that if we split next week, Damonte would be the No. 1 seed. We need to take two, but first we need to take care of business against Hug (on Thursday).

“Douglas has obviously gotten better since the start of the season. They hit the ball much better. They have a good squad. I was pleased with our girls in the second game. They battled back and showed a lot of character.”

Douglas snapped a 1-all tie in the fifth by scoring twice thanks to two errors and a double by Katie Kluever.

The Tigers returned the favor in the bottom of the sixth, as the Senators caught up to lefty Taylor McKinnon for six runs and five hits. McKinnon’s defense didn’t help, committing three errors.

McGahuey had two hits in the inning, as Carson sent 10 to the plate. Moriah Lane, Lauren Knorzer and Morgan Kleine all had hits. Knorzer and Kleine drove in runs as did McGahuey. Jen Purcell drove in a run with a sacrifice fly.

Gallegos who pitched four-plus innings to start the game, came on in the seventh. She gave up three hits and a run before getting the final out to record the save.

“I wanted to go back in,” Gallegos said. “I felt pretty good about today. My collarbone (where she got hit with a line drive Thursday) tightened. I just had to push through (in the second game).

McGahuey led the offense in the second game with three hits, including a solo homer in the second.

Douglas had 12 hits in the second game, but stranded nine runners, a stat not lost on Douglas coach Andy Mitchell.

“We hit the ball well,” he said. “We didn’t get them all together.”

It was the same story in the opener for the Tigers, who stranded seven runners in five innings, including three in the first inning.

Douglas actually hit two foul balls that cleared the fence in left. The Tigers loaded the bases after two out, and Gallegos got Illiana Brown to fly to centerfield to end the inning.

“If we’d hit those two homers, that would have changed the game,” Mitchell said.

Douglas had two hits in the first and only got two more the rest of the game off Gallegos, who kept the Tigers off balance with her off-speed pitches.

“We were too anxious,” Mitchell said. “We didn’t lay off the change-up.”

Carson scored three in the first thanks to a two-run single by McGahuey and an infield out by Lane. The Senators made it 5-0 in the third when Purcell, who went 3-for-3, singled and scored on Yamamoto’s monster homer to left-centerfield.

Carson tacked on four more in the fourth, one coming on a run-scoring double by Emily Collins, one on a Purcell single and two on an off-field triple by McGahuey. Carson closed out the game in the fifth when Kleine singled home Yamamoto, who had doubled to lead off the inning.

McGahuey continues to be one of the most productive hitters in Northern Nevada, and along with Lane, form the best 1-2 punch in the area.

“I was pretty relaxed,” McGahuey said. “In the second game, they were working me outside, so I moved up on the plate and then hit the homer.”