The Cougars opened their Northern 4A league schedule with three straight wins, capped by a doubleheader sweep of Damonte Ranch Saturday.
Spanish Springs needed a come-from-behind 5-4 win over the Mustangs to secure the sweep after cruising to a 3-1 triumph in the early game.
Trailing 4-3 heading into the bottom of the seventh, the Purple and White were not about to see its comeback bid come up short.
Spanish Springs was down to its final two outs with the bases empty and the top of the order coming back up. Senior Bella Rovens slapped a single to left field, but got greedy trying to stretch it into a double. Luckily for the local squad, her slide into second knocked the ball free and she was called safe, breathing life into the home dugout.
Dani Smith smoked a game-tying double that rolled all the way to the fence in left field. Then it was the Cougar pitcher’s turn as Brette Lawrence came to the plate and ripped a game-winning base hit to the left-center field gap, driving in pinch runner Aubrene Blas for the walk-off victory. Lawrence’s second hit of the game gave her a second win in the circle.
“In the first game, I was challenging them to play a perfect game defensively, and I thought the first game they did that,” SSHS softball coach Jeff Davidson said. “We got some timely hitting and some great pitching from Brette to eke out that victory. To start the second game, I don’t know what happened. It wasn’t my team out there. We threw the ball around. They scored a run and got the lead. What I told them after the game is one of our philosophies is to never quit, fight until the last out of the game.”
Game 2 of the twin bill did not look good for the Cougars from the very first batter. Mustangs leadoff batter Adelle Oaks circled the sacks when Spanish Springs threw the ball away twice on the same play, giving the visiting squad a 1-0 lead.
With one out in the top of the third, Meghan Hospodka lofted a fly ball to shallow right field. Spanish Springs sophomore Kelsie Merritt, who had a busy day diving all over the place, tried to make a diving grab but couldn’t come up with this one. Hospodka ended up on second with a double.
Chanel Bates followed with a single, but Hospodka was unable to advance. It mattered little. Damonte pitcher Kalyn Paque helped her cause with a double to the left-center field gap, plating Hospodka.
A sacrifice fly by Kerrigan Travens made it a 3-0 score.
In the bottom of the fourth frame, Spanish Springs finally got on the scoreboard. Sidney Sinclair crushed a triple to deep left field to lead off the inning. Two batters later, a sac fly to right allowed a run to score.
The Mustangs went up 4-1 in the top of the fifth. Bates recorded the second of her three hits in the second game with one out. She later scored on the Cougars’ third error of the game when a throw to first got away.
However, the Cougars battled back in the bottom half of the inning and pulled within one run, setting up the last-inning comeback.
Three walks loaded the bases in the fifth. With two outs, Sinclair dumped a shallow double into center field that was just out of reach of a dive. Two runs scored on the play, cutting the deficit to 4-3.
Sinclair was a perfect 3-for-3 at the plate, leading the Cougars’ seven-hit attack.
“Damonte is a great team. We just happened to come out on top today,” Davidson said. “They’re going to battle until the end as well. They’ve got a great hitting team, good defense, and excellent pitching. Today we happened to do enough to come out on top.”
In the early game, Lawrence was solid and Spanish Springs never felt threatened despite falling behind 1-0.
To start the third, Oaks hit a back-spinning pop up in the infield. SSHS shortstop Bayley Broadwater dove and got a glove on it but the ball squirted away toward the dugout, allowing Oaks to get to second base.
Bates drove her home with an RBI single past a diving Broadwater for Mustangs’ lone run. Lawrence only allowed one hit over the final four innings.
Spanish Springs didn’t take long to answer back. In the bottom of the third, a Lawrence RBI single sent Merritt home, who had led off the inning with a line drive base knock to left field. Sinclair followed Lawrence with her own RBI single, connecting on an 0-2 pitch.
The Cougars added an insurance run in the sixth. Ally Batastini singled and came home on a Alyx Penrod pinch-hit single, accounting for the final 3-1 margin. Batastini had two of her team’s six hits.
Spanish Springs (6-2, 3-0 in Northern 4A) is off until Thursday when it hosts Douglas at 3:45 p.m.