Senators fall one win short of state
For the Nevada Appeal
RENO – The Carson High softball team saw its season ended Saturday by a hot hitting Damonte Ranch squad that scored 11 runs in five innings for an 11-1 win in the Northern 4A Regional at Bishop Manogue.
For the Senators, it was a disheartening end to an up and down season that they had hoped to salvage with a trip to the state tournament.
The Mustangs put pressure on the Carson squad from the beginning, scoring in each of the first three innings.
Fielding errors helped Damonte Ranch take a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first. Back to back singles by Caitlin Wolfe and Britnee Dolley followed by an infield error loaded the bases.
An infield fly gave Carson two outs. But the next hitter knocked a line drive to left center that grazed the glove of the center fielder and led to three unearned runs.
Carson had a chance to score in the top of the second when Christa McGahuey singled sharply to right with Kristin Withrow on second with two outs. Withrow tried to score, but a one hop throw from right beat her to the plate.
Damonte Ranch pushed four runs across in the second on a Alexis McKinnon grand slam. Carson starter Lindsey Ashbaugh walked a batter, hit a batter and gave up a single to load the bases. McKinnon followed with a long deep ball to left on a 1-0 count to give the Mustangs a 7-0 lead.
Lisa Yamamoto singled with two outs in the top of the third to drive in pinch runner Hannah Winder, who was running for Daria Leid who had led off the inning with a single.
Leid replaced Ashbaugh in the circle to pitch the third and was undone by the free pass. She gave up three walks before an RBI single with two outs by Caitlin Wolfe cleared the bases, giving the Mustangs a comfortable 10-1 lead.
The Senators didn’t give up though, loading the bases in the fourth inning with two outs and again in the fifth inning with one out, but couldn’t score.
Christina Gallegos came on in relief of Leid to finish the third and managed to hold Damonte Ranch scoreless in the fourth before coming out for the fifth with the Mustangs leading 10-1, needing just one run to end the game. Ashleigh Westover led off with a walk. Ashley Barrett and Caitlin Wolfe both singled to load the bases. A passed ball allowed Westover to score from third ending the game and the Senators season.
“We’re disappointed that we didn’t get to state,” said Carson head coach Scott Vickrey. “But I’m pretty proud of my team and what they’ve accomplished this year.
“Their pitcher shut down our bats pretty well today. We haven’t always been clean in the field, but our bats have been pretty good. Our bats are why we’re here.”
Vickrey expects this tournament experience will help his squad as it looks to next year.
“You can’t ever have enough experience,” he said. “We have a young team. Now these girls know they belong here. This should help them to take it one step further next year.”
This game also marks the last time that three seniors will take the field for the Senators.
“These girls (seniors) have been involved in key parts of our game,” Vickrey said. “Daria (Leid)has been a cornerstone of the program for a long time. Megan Hein has a tremendous work ethic that’s helped everyone here. Natalie (Morrow) has gotten some key roles. She’s gotten some key balls in play for us.”
This year’s third place finish in the regional tournament marks the best finish for a Carson team since the late 90’s.