In Spanish Springs’ last action within the Northern 4A, the Cougars suffered a rare series sweep at the hands of Carson High. Looking to regain some momentum heading into the final stretch of the league season, the Cougars refused to lose on Thursday.
After holding a 3-1 edge over the Grizzlies after four innings, Spanish Springs watched Galena erase the two-run advantage and take the lead, thanks largely to some help from the home team.
Galena junior Ashley Henderson ripped a double to the left field wall to start the top of the fifth for the Grizz. With Henderson in scoring position, junior Frankie Loux laid down a bunt with the intention of moving the runner to third. Fortunately for the south Reno school, three Cougs went for the ball at the same time and ended up falling over one another before sending an errant throw into right field, scoring Henderson and advancing Loux to second. Loux moved to third on a sac bunt before senior Lizzy Dutton sent her home with a single to tie the game. After a fielder’s choice, a single by junior Shannon Wessel into center pushed Dutton home and Galena had the lead, 4-3.
“We’ve had a communication issue before,” Spanish Springs coach Jeff Davidson said. “Our catcher is very vocal in the dugout and on that play it’s the catcher’s ball. She can see the play and the first baseman and pitcher, who are converging, have their backs to first base. So when no one talked and no one heard anything, they all went after the ball and then they tripped over each other and tangled their feet. That led to a bad throw and prolonged the inning. We talked about that after the game about communication and being vocal, so everyone knows what to do in every situation.”
The Purple and Silver did not relinquish the lead for long.
Two quick outs in the bottom of the fifth frame made the inning look as though it would produce little for the Cougars. However, a single from junior Kelsie Stroshine got things started. Sophomore Bayley Broadwater stepped up to the dish afterward and sent a liner just fair down the left-field line for an RBI double to tie the game at 4-4. A missed tag on Broadwater on a grounder to shortstop from Sidney Sinclair, and an ensuing bad throw, sent Broadwater home for the lead. Still not satisfied, senior Dani Smith doubled to push Sinclair around the bases for the final lead of 6-4.
Galena did little to threaten the Cougars the rest of the game as just two batters managed to reach base.
“It went back and forth,” Davidson said. “That one inning we didn’t communicate on the bunt and that led to three runs. The team battled though and never gave in. They hit the ball well. I would have liked to have seen a little bit more production with runners in scoring position. We had several opportunities early and we didn’t take advantage of that, but overall we got clutch hits there at the end, which kind of broke the game in our favor.
“The way they battled was terrific. One of the things we talk about is you play until the final out of the game. You never, ever give up and anything can happen. Today they battled and battled and battled and fortunately we came out on top.”
The Grizzlies jumped out on the Cougs early, grabbing a 1-0 lead in the first inning when senior Raquel Martinez touched home on a Spanish Springs error. The hosts took their first lead of the contest with a two-run second inning when Sinclair roped a liner into center field with the bases juiced to score sophomore Myrissa Prince and Stroshine. The Cougars pushed their advantage to 3-1 on a double from junior Brette Lawrence that plated Sinclair.
Galena (9-13, 6-7 Northern 4A) managed five hits while the Cougars went for 10 hits. The Cougs did have three errors.
Spanish Springs (18-5, 11-2 Northern 4A) will face off against cross-town rival Reed on Saturday at home in a doubleheader slated to start at 10 a.m.