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Cougars knock off Mustangs
by Dan Eckles
Apr 06, 2011 | 1024 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tribune photo by John Byrne - Spanish Springs freshman Kayla Arterburn fouls off a late-inning pitch during Wednesday's SSHS win.
Tribune photo by John Byrne - Spanish Springs freshman Kayla Arterburn fouls off a late-inning pitch during Wednesday's SSHS win.
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The Spanish Springs Cougars took one of their few softball tests of the early season and passed it with flying colors. In a battle of last year's state finalists, Spanish Springs cruised to a 7-2 home win over Damonte Ranch Wednesday afternoon.

The contest was close until the bottom of the sixth inning. That's when Spanish Springs hung a four spot on Damonte Ranch and turned a 3-1 lead into a 7-1 advantage. Myrissa Prince singled and Julianna Waller reached on an error. Both moved up after a sacrifice bunt. A Kayla Arterburn single plated Prince to start the scoring spree.

Bella Rovens followed and got down a safety squeeze bunt that allowed Waller's pinch runner, Kelsey Stroshine, to score, extending the SSHS lead to 5-1. A two-run triple by Dani Smith capped the four-run sixth-inning rally.

"We did a very good job on hitting the ball down," Spanish Springs coach Jeff Davidson said. "We work on that everyday in practice. I think we may have only hit three pop flies all day. The girls' mental approach was great in the sense of being aggressive at the plate. And we had a lot of key hits today, which we haven't had in the past with runners in scoring position."

Damonte Ranch added an unearned run in the top of the seventh and had the bases loaded with two outs, but could do no further damage.

Spanish Springs' ace right-hander Danica Arterburn picked up the pitching victory. She struck out seven Mustangs while issuing three walks. She scattered four hits and gave up the two runs, only one of which was earned.

"I thought she did great," Davidson said of his senior hurler. "She had a couple walks there in that one (seventh) inning and the one girl hit home run after we threw her a curve ball in and she "inside outted" it and got it in the wind. Give her credit she made a good swing on it. But that was about all they hit hard. Danica moved the ball in and out, up and down very well today."

The Cougars broke a scoreless tie with a single run in the bottom of the second. Brette Lawrence doubled and scored thanks to a Prince single.

The Spanish Springs nine forged ahead 2-0 by tacking on another run in the fourth. Sydney Darby singled and her courtesy runner, Sidney Sinclair, circled the sacks and scored after a Lawrence single, walk to Prince and an RBI groundout by Waller.

The Cougars pushed their edge to 3-0 when they added a run in the fifth. Rovens tripled and crossed the plate on a run-scoring single by Smith.

Damonte cut the lead to 3-1 when Brittnee Dolley roped a shot down the left-field line that went for the inside-the-park home run.

Spanish Springs improved to 13-2 overall and 8-0 in conference clashes. The Cougars have not lost to an in-state foe yet this spring. The local school returns to the diamond Saturday when it plays at Carson at 2 p.m.

"I feel the team is continuing to improve," Davidson said. "We knew that with our young team we were going to need to keep working hard every game. We are getting a little better and getting a little more comfortable. We're not where we want to be yet but this is a team that is playing well."

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