The Spanish Springs softball team got its season started in fine fashion Thursday, picking up a pair of wins at the Sacramento Preseason Victory Tournament on Opening Day of the spring campaign. The Cougars, a traditional northern Nevada large-school power, knocked off Del Campo of east suburban Sacramento, 4-0 and then handed Lowry, of Winnemucca, a 2-1 defeat.
"Today everybody got to play," SSHS coach Jeff Davidson said. "We rotated people in and out. It was a good day. To come away with two wins is always nice."
Deadlocked at 0-0, Spanish Springs pushed across a pair of runs against Del Campo in the bottom of the second inning. Ally Batastini and Hayley Fein singled. Autumn Alexander proceeded to clean up from there, bashing a three-run dinger to left-center field.
Fein tacked on the other SSHS score, doubling in the third and racing home on a passed ball.
Batastini did the rest. She scattered five Del Campo hits in a three-strikeout 1-walk complete-game performance. Twice Del Campo got runners to third base but on both occasions they were left stranded.
"Del Campo was an excellent team," Davidson said. "Autumn hit the 3-run homer and Ally pitched a great game. They put the ball in play, and defensively, we played really good."
In the Cougars' second game of the day, against Lowry, they managed only two runs, but they made them stand up. SSHS leadoff hitter Amanda Barham doubled and scored on a passed ball for the Cougars' initial run, which came in the bottom of the first.
The second Spanish Springs run came in the bottom of the sixth inning after Lowry had knotted the contest at a run apiece in the top of the frame. Sadye Roulund reached on a fielder's choice, and then with two outs, Megan Archer and Bailey Ivory both rapped out singles, bringing Roulund around to score the winning run.
Ivory earned the win in the circle for the Cougars. She struck out eight Lowry hitters while walking two and allowing only two hits. The Buckaroos' only run of the tourney tilt was unearned.
Spanish Springs concludes tournament pool play Friday with a 6:45 p.m. game against Oakmonty of Roseville.
The Rail City's other DI North school, Reed, was in action at the Sacramento tournament. Like Spanish Springs, Reed represented the Rail City well, also picking up a pair of triumphs in its first day of competition in 2014. Reed rallied late to upend Casa Roble of Orangevale, Calif. and then dumped Sutter (Calif.) 8-1.
Against Casa Roble, Reed led 3-2 after three innings, but the Rams had plenty of fight left. They loaded the bases with no outs against Reed starting pitcher Megan Dettling. Raiders coach Jon Wunder called on Julia Jensen to take the ball and she delivered.
Casa Roble did manage to get three runs in the inning but all three were charged to Dettling. Jensen wound up earning the win in relief, working two innings, giving up one hit while striking out three in the short stint and not giving up a walk.
Jensen earned the win because her teammates found some offense in the bottom of the fifth. Trailing 5-3, Reed hitters went to work. Jessica Sellers drew a leadoff walk for the RHS crew. Katie Fulkers singled and Alysha Imperato tripled in two runs to knot the game at 5-5. With tournament time rules in effect, Jensen responded with a single to score Imperato for what proved to be a walk-off game-winner.
Imperato also had a solo homer in Reed's two-run third inning.
The Raiders were never really threatened in their second game. Reed jumped on Sutter for four first-inning runs and cruised to the 8-1 romp. Imperato, Jensen and Alexis Gonzalez all had RBI singles in the rally.
Reed scored two more runs in the third and tacked on two more in the fourth to account for all of its offensive production. Imperato, a sophomore, crushed a two-run homer in the fourth to cap her highlight day.
Jensen worked all five innings of the tournament time-rule shortened affair. She struck out 10 and walked two, limiting Sutter to three hits.
"Our level of execution overall was better than you can ask for on Day One," Wunder said. "Casa Roble has had our number the last two years ... So that was huge to not get lost early and then that momentum carried right over to the next game."
Reed ends its trek through pool play Friday with a 12:30 p.m. meeting against Inderkum of Sacramento.