Triple play helps Carson High sweep Reno
For what seemed like a split second — it actually took a few seconds — reality ceased to exist at the Carson High softball field when a fantasy of a play happened that may turn out to be the season-defining moment for the Senators.
Kassidy Cooley turned a diving catch of a bunt attempt into a triple play and that was the catalyst for the Senators to finish off a sweep of a doubleheader against Reno High on Tuesday. After Cooley’s play, CHS went on to beat Reno 11-10 in nine innings after defeating the Huskies 10-0 in the opener.
It was Alex Salciedo who came up with the game-winning double off the right center field fence in the bottom of the ninth to finish off the doubleheader sweep.
It was an important sweep for CHS in the Northern 4A race as the Senators improved to 4-2 in league play. Carson was able to pull off the sweep in large part to Jaliene Salciedo, who was the winning pitcher in both games.
Salciedo was able to hold Reno to three earned runs over 12 2/3 innings despite allowing 21 hits. But the most important stat of the day for Salciedo as to why she was able to do that was she didn’t walk a batter on the day.
Reno had runners at first and third with no outs in the ninth inning with the scored tied 10-10 when on a bunt attempt the ball was popped up in foul territory along the first base line. Cooley rushed in from her position at first base to make a diving catch as both Reno runners advanced.
Cooley then threw to shortstop Belle Kordonowy covering third for the second out and then Kordonowy threw to second baseman Kailee Luschar covering first to complete the triple play.
“That was huge,” Carson coach Carlos Mendeguia said. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen a play like that in softball. That was a tremendous play. That absolutely helped us with the momentum. I think after that we emotionally got back into the game.”
In the bottom of the ninth, Amaya Mendeguia singled and scored on Salciedo’s double to give CHS the win. “That was a dog fight,” Mendeguia said. “That showed a lot of character.”
Down 10-7, Carson scored three runs in the bottom of the seventh to tie the score 10-10. Kedra Luschar hit an RBI triple and Jaliene Salciedo and Cooley each hit RBI singles to tie the score 10-10.
Salciedo came on to pitch in the third inning with CHS down 5-4. Reno went on to score two unearned runs in the inning to take a 7-4 lead. Carson closed to within 7-6 in the bottom of the third on another RBI triple by Kedra Luschar and Salciedo helped herself when she followed with an RBI double.
Salciedo allowed an RBI sacrifice fly in the fifth that gave Reno an 8-6 lead but was helped out by Kedra Luschar, who made the first of her two key defensive plays in center field. She nailed a runner at the plate trying to score on a single to end the inning.
Bella Kordonowy belted a mammoth home run to left to bring CHS to within 8-7 in the bottom of the fifth. Reno went back up 10-7 in the sixth, but on the play that gave Reno a 10-7 lead, Luschar helped minimize the damage when threw made a strong throw from the right center field fence to Kordonowy who threw out a runner trying to advance to third.
Reno took a 3-0 lead in the top of the first before Carson responded with four runs to take a 4-3 lead in the bottom of the first. Kedra Luschar began her huge game offensively and defensively with the first of her three RBI triples. Jaliene Salciedo followed with an RBI single and then Mendeguia hit an opposite field home run to right, a two-run shot, to give CHS a 4-3 lead.
Kedra Luschar had four hits, Mendeguia and Jaliene Salciedo each had three hits, Kordonowy and Kailee Luschar each had two hits and Lauren Hawkins added a hit.
Salciedo allowed three earned runs on 14 hits over 6 2/3 innings. In the opener, Salciedo pitched a complete game shutout, scattering seven hits while striking out six over six innings in a game that was called due to the mercy rule.
“I don’t know what to say,” said coach Mendeguia when told about Salciedo’s line on the day in which she gave up three earned runs on 21 hits. “We trust Jaliene. We trust our defense.”
CHS also played perfect defense behind Salciedo in the opener, not committing an error. In the opener, Cooley’s two-run homer gave Carson a 4-0 lead in the fourth after Salciedo helped herself when she hit a double.
Salciedo helped herself again by belting a mammoth homer to left, a two-run shot, to give CHS a 7-0 lead in the fifth. Kordonowy’s RBI single in the sixth capped a three-run rally, allowing the Senators to win the game by the mercy rule.
Kailee Luschar had three hits, including an RBI single that gave CHS a 9-0 lead in the sixth, Jaliene Salcido had two hits, Kordonowy had two hits as she also had an RBI double that gave Carson a 2-0 lead in the third, Kedra Luschar had an RBI single that gave the Senators a 5-0 lead in the fifth and Kennedy Redican added a hit.
Note: Before the game a ceremony was held to honor Bill Field, who died on March 17. Field served as Carson High’s softball coach and led the Senators to a state title in 1985. He also started the Carson Comets softball program and played an integral role in the development of the softball fields on the CHS campus. The Senators wore throwback uniforms in Field’s honor.