For the second straight year, a pair of Las Vegas-area schools will play for a 4A state crown. A day after eliminating North champion Damonte Ranch, Centennial ended Reed’s season with a 6-4 losers’ bracket comeback victory Friday evening.
“The playoffs are a totally different atmosphere,” Reed senior Shivaun Landeros said. “These kind of games happen a lot. People come back. We didn’t give up. We battled. It just wasn’t enough … We were playing well. We got in a groove and got relaxed. I think we got too relaxed and it came at the wrong time.”
Reed (31-8) handed Centennial a 5-4 defeat in first-round tournament action Thursday but Friday was a different story. Reed dropped a winners’ bracket clash to Coronado, 6-1, in its afternoon game Friday and then had to double back and play Centennial.
The Raiders were cruising along through five-plus innings but their world collapsed in the bottom of the sixth. Centennial erased a 4-1 deficit with a five-run rally that was helped by three Reed errors. When all was said and done, Centennial sent 11 hitters to the plate in the sixth. In addition to the trio of Raiders’ fielding miscues, Centennial rapped out three hits and got a walk to help inflict its damage.
“It can get away from you pretty fast against a good hitting team,” Reed coach Jon Wunder said. “And it’s tougher when that happens later in the game. Then you’ve got a limited number of outs to play with. They’re a good hitting team, but they’re strong defensively. They’re solid on the corners. When you give up the lead, that puts you in a hole.”
Reed took a 4-1 lead in the top of the sixth after Landeros got down a bunt single and her courtesy runner, Chelsea Cummings, came around to score on an Andi Lee single.
Unfortunately for Reed fans, that’s when the wheels fell off the Raiders’ wagon. Alyssa Finger reached on a Reed error to start the Centennial sixth. Reed right fielder Lindsay Yearman tracked down a liner for the first out, but seven of the next eight Bulldogs hitters reached safely.
That sequence started with a single by Savannah Horvath. A passed ball allowed Finger and Horvath to move up a base. Lauren Stroman stepped in and singled to plate Finger for the Bulldogs’ first run of the inning.
Another Reed error allowed Horvath to score, trimming Reed’s lead to 4-3. Next, Centennial’s No. 9 hitter, Bailie Nelson, drilled a triple into the gap in right-center field, driving in two more runs for a 5-4 CHS lead. Soon after, Reed’s third error of the inning saw Nelson cross the plate, accounting for the final 6-4 margin.
“I was expecting them to come back. They’re a good hitting team,” Reed’s Mary Dettling said. “In my 10 or 11 years of playing, I’ve seen innings like that. I know you have to respond. It’s tough, but we’re all a family.”
In the top of the seventh, Reed put a pair of runners on with two outs, but could not get either home, ending the contest and the Raiders’ season.
“We’re disappointed,” Wunder said. “You set your goals to win regionals and win state and there’s nothing you can tell them to make them fell better. But like I did tell them, there’s a lot of people that would liked to have been in their shoes, having a great season, winning 30 games and getting to state. Our seniors won 105 games in their careers. That’s nothing to be ashamed of.”
Prior to Centennial’s big sixth inning, the game was all Reed. The east Sparks school was seemingly bouncing back from the loss to Coronado in fine fashion.
Reed took a 2-0 lead with a pair of runs in the top of the first. Marriah Levesque reached on an error and scored on a Mary Dettling double. Dettling raced home when Lee knocked out a ground ball that turned into a second Centennial error.
The Bulldogs, who won state titles in 2004 and 2009, got a run back in the bottom of the third only to see Reed tack on single scores in the fifth and sixth. Reed’s fifth inning run came with two outs. Hannah Martini reached on a fielder’s choice. She stole second, and when an errant pick-off attempt sailed into center field, she scooted to third. Cori Gammon followed with a run-scoring single, giving the Raiders a 4-1 edge.
“It was big to get out of those early innings without a lot of runs,” Centennial coach Mike Livreri said. “ I did not see a lot panic set in. I felt our girls showed a lot of heart and our bats finally came through.”
RHS sophomore right-hander Jackie Sertic had Centennial on its heels before the sixth. She took the tough-luck loss due to Reed’s untimely defensive letdown. Sertic worked five and one-third innings, giving up six runs, only one of which was earned. She was tagged for nine hits in a two-strikeout, one-walk outing.
Taylor Huntly survived in the circle for Centennial to pick up the pitching victory. She turned in a complete game, scattering six Reed hits. She allowed four runs, two of which were earned, striking out five and walking one.
“She was getting ahead and staying ahead,” Livreri said. “She came right after people and went to her strength. Her drop ball was big for her.”
- Coronado 6, Reed 1 -
•Reed was never really in the game that pitted the tournament’s opening day winners. Coronado scored single runs in the first, second and third innings to forge ahead 3-0. It tacked on two more in the fifth for a 5-0 lead.
Reed’s lone run of the contest came in the top of the sixth. Landeros scored after roping a two-out double and coming home on a Lee single.
Reed, which had 15 hits in its win Thursday over Centennial, managed only six against Coronado. The Raiders got their leadoff runner on just once in the entire game.
Cougars starting pitcher Danielle Amato went the distance to earn the pitching win for her club. She struck out three without giving up a walk.