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Sparks softball splits doubleheader with Hug
by Aaron Retherford
Mar 08, 2013 | 2087 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Sparks overcame what coach Frank Avilla called first-game jitters and salvaged a twin bill split with Hug, taking down the Hawks 7-6 in the nightcap after falling 8-5 in the season opener Friday.

In Game 2, Sparks scored three runs in the third and four runs in the fifth to take a 7-1 lead.

Marissa Cossio pitched to one batter in the final inning before giving way to Sarah Hanson. That’s when the Hawks rallied for five runs to make it close, but not close enough.

In Game 1 of the doubleheader, Sparks had its chances but in the end, the bat of Amanda Leos proved too powerful for Hug.

Leos was a triple shy of hitting for the cycle and drove in four runs as the Hawks secured the 8-5 victory.

The Railroaders were the visiting team on the scoreboard and jumped out to a 2-0 lead after the first half inning.

In the bottom of the first, that’s when Leos delivered the big blow -- a three-run home run off Sparks sophomore pitcher Jocelyn Vasquez.

Vasquez settled down after allowing five runs in the first inning, recording a 1-2-3 inning in the second and only allowing a double to Leos in the third.

However, the Sparks offense couldn’t get much going.

The Railroaders picked up a run in the second on a dropped throw at first base, which cut the deficit to 5-3.

Sparks pushed across two runs in the fourth frame to tie the score at 5-5.

Miranda Busch led off the inning with a swinging bunt single. A dropped throw at first left runners at first and second.

With one out, Michelle Cardenas dropped down a sacrifice bunt in front of the plate. Hug catcher Lindsay Harris went to third to get the lead runner, but her throw was high, loading the bases.

Following a strikeout for the second out, Riley Regas ripped a hard shot to third. Leos made a nice play but her throw was dropped at first, enabling two runs to score, bringing the teams into a 5-5 deadlock.

The game didn’t remain tied for long.

In the bottom of the fourth, five straight singles by the Hawks sent them into an 8-5 advantage. Sabrina Harris, Bree Manzo and Leos all had an RBI in the inning.

Sparks didn’t fold. Due to time-limit restrictions for the tournament, the fifth inning was the last inning.

Stephanie Miller belted a double that rolled to the fence in left field to start the top of the fifth.

Cossio turned on a pitch and singled to shallow left, putting runners on the corners. Madi Lock then flew out to left field and Miller was thrown out at third after leaving the bag too early.

Busch singled up the middle to try to keep the rally going, but Manzo induced a game-ending groundout to second to record the complete-game victory in the circle.

Sparks (1-1) continues tournament action today in Lovelock with a game against Carlin at 9 a.m. and Pershing County at 11 a.m.
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