Senators fight for split against Damonte
Carson High’s softball team rallied from deficits of 4-0 and 6-4 to grab a 7-6 win from visiting Damonte Ranch in the opening game of Saturday’s Sierra League doubleheader.
The momentum that Carson built up in the first game evaporated in the second inning of the second game when the Mustangs exploded for 11 runs en route to an 18-6 win in a game shortened to six innings because of the run rule.
The split left Carson with a 6-6 record with nine games left, three each against Manogue, Wooster and South Tahoe. Carson coach Scott Vickrey admitted it will be a tough battle down the stretch, and that the Senators needed to win a minimum of six more games to reach the postseason.
“We’ve won two series’ and lost two series’,” Vickrey said. “It’s not just a matter of winning series’ now. Last year we won four series’ and didn’t get in. There were teams that we beat during the season that got into the playoffs. I think we have to get to 12.
“I don’t think their pitchers were dominating. They did a good job of keeping us off balance. Some of our girls adjusted quickly, some didn’t adjust and some others took a long time to adjust.”
Vickrey was pleased with the way his team battled back in both games, especially in the second game when Carson scored five unanswered runs after falling behind 14-1. A lot of teams would have given up after yielding an 11-spot, but Carson showed a lot of fight all day.
The first game was bizarre to say the least. Through five innings, neither team scored and had combined for six hits, as Carson’s Daria Leid and Kalyn Paqua were locked in a great pitcher’s battle.
Damonte Ranch finally got on the board with four runs in the top of the sixth, the big blow being a three-run homer to left by Alexis McKinnon. An error by Emily Collins scored the first run of the inning.
Freshman Jocelyn Young singled to open the Carson sixth. She moved to second when Moriah Lane walked, Leid singled to load the bases and Lauren Knorzer slammed a two-run double to right-centerfield to make it 4-2. Leid scored from third when Lindsay Ashbaugh flied to center. An alert Knorzer scored the tying run on the play when the throw from centerfield was well off the plate.
Caitlin Wolfe doubled to lead off the seventh. Leid hit Brittnee Dolley with a pitch and left the circle in favor of Christina Gallegos, who blanked the Mustangs for 3.2 innings on Thursday.
MacKenzie Wolfe forced Dolley at second, with Wolfe taking third on the play. After Paque popped out to short, Ashleigh Westover doubled home both runners. Westover made it to third on a throwing error, but was stranded when McKinnon grounded out.
Carson cameback with Collins, Hein and Young hitting consecutive singles with Young driving in Collins to make it 6-5. Lane was then walked intentionally to load the bases. Hein scored on Leid’s groundball when the catcher pulled her foot off the plate too early which tied the game at 6. Knorzer followed with a comebacker which bounced off Paqua’s glove. Paqua, for some reason, threw to first instead of throwing home which allowed Young to score the winning run.
“We were a little down (when it was 4-0), but I thought we could come back,” left fielder Young said.
“I was surprised that she didn’t throw home,” Vickrey said. “I saw it squeeze out of her glove. I’m not sure why she didn’t throw home.”
Young went 3-for-4 and Leid went 2-for-3 to lead Carson’s offense.
Young was the bright spot in the second game, going 2-for-3 with three RBIs including her first homer of the season, a two-run shot in the second which cut the lead to 14-4. Damonte had taken a 14-1 lead in the second inning thanks to the aforementioned 11-run second inning.
“It (the homer) felt really good, especially since it was a change-up,” Young said. “I like hitting third (rather than leadoff). When I see runners on when I come up, I feel obligated to get them home or advance them.”
Vickrey went through four different pitchers – Gallegos, Leid, Natalie Morrow and Ashbaugh. Damonte Ranch finished with 12 hits.
Hein and Collins collected two hits each in the second game to complement Young.