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SSHS softball dispatches Carson
by Dan Eckles
Mar 26, 2013 | 2416 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tribune photo by John Byrne - Spanish Springs softball players congratulate junior Megan Archer (#18 middle) after she drilled a three-run inside-the-park home run in Tuesday's win over Carson.
Tribune photo by John Byrne - Spanish Springs softball players congratulate junior Megan Archer (#18 middle) after she drilled a three-run inside-the-park home run in Tuesday's win over Carson.
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Tribune photo by John Byrne - SSHS sophomore right-hander Ally Batastini struck out eight Carson hitters en route to earning a complete-game victory Tuesday.
Tribune photo by John Byrne - SSHS sophomore right-hander Ally Batastini struck out eight Carson hitters en route to earning a complete-game victory Tuesday.
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The Spanish Springs softball team continued its hot start to the young season, ripping off its seventh straight victory and improving to 10-1 on the spring campaign. Spanish Springs saddled Carson with a 7-3 defeat in a Division I North crossover league contest Tuesday afternoon.

The Cougars have not lost since their third game of the season, which came at the Victory Preseason Tournament in Sacramento March 8.

On Tuesday, the Cougars got four runs in the third inning and added three more in the sixth to account for their offensive production.

The visiting Senators did take the early lead. They posted a trio of scores in the top of the third frame, grabbing a 3-0 advantage. Malia Tiffer and Bailey Allen both singled and scored to start the CHS rally. Kandice Tuttle later reached safely on a sacrifice bunt and came around to score for the third Senators' run.

The Carson lead was short-lived as the hosts responded with their four-run frame in the bottom of the inning. Myrissa Prince reached on a fielder's choice, leaving the SSHS rally to start with one out. Karlie Merritt followed and grounded out but the Cougars' offense still went to work. Lawrence singled to score Prince. After Ally Batastini singled, Megan Archer found a gap and recorded a three-run inside-the-park homer.

The two teams traded zeroes on the scoreboard until Spanish Springs took its turn at the plate in the bottom of the sixth. Amanda Barham singled and stole second. She scored after a single by Prince, who also stole second. Sadye Roulund followed and was hit by a pitch. A double steal left Prince on third and Roulund on second. Lawrence plated them both with a two-run single.

Lawrence and Barham both had stellar days in the batter's box. Both rapped out three hits in three plate appearances, accounting for two-thirds of the SSHS gang's hit total.

"I felt like I was seeing the ball pretty well," Lawrence said. "We saw their first pitcher in the scrimmages at the beginning of the season. I did all right the first time, but today it felt like I was right there ... I felt pretty good about today. I feel like for our seniors and returning players, it should be our job to be more vocal. And we should be the ones who do what needs to be done and set the tone for everyone else."

Spanish Springs coach Jeff Davidson was ecstatic over the offensive efforts of Lawrence and Barham.

"They really had good approaches at the plate and did a good job for us," he said. "That's kind of been our pattern, different players step up in different games. That's very important because kids are not always going to have great games. We need everybody to contribute to help this team win."

If anything was disappointing for the Cougars Tuesday it was that they left seven runners on base. Davidson believes that number is too high and he admits it's been a bit of a reoccurring theme.

"I thought overall we hit the ball pretty well in the windy conditions," Davidson said. "But we left a ton of runners on base and in scoring position. That's something we need to focus on in practice, being able to drive those runs in. The girls have got to have a good approach at the plate, and know what they want to do. They've got to look for a pitch in their zone they can hit hard. Too often, I think we're taking too many pitches and not being aggressive at the right time."

Batastini picked up the pitching win for Spanish Springs. She turned in seven strong innings, giving up three runs. She scattered five Carson hits in an eight-strikeout, two-walk performance.

Davidson was pleased with his sophomore hurler's effort.

"I thought she pitched pretty well," the Cougars' eighth-year coach said. "The one inning she gave up the three runs, they only had one base hit through the infield. They had an infield hit and an infield chopper over the mound that we didn't make a play on. They bunted a couple times and had a sac fly. I thought Ally battled and worked through all that."

Spanish Springs returns to diamond action Thursday when it hosts Wooster at 3:45 p.m.

Davidson is happy his club has won 10 of its first 11 games, but he's more focused on its improving throughout the season more than anything else.

"There's few things we need to clean up but overall we're getting good pitching and playing pretty good defense," the veteran skipper said. "Our hitting is a little sporadic at times, but we're hitting the ball well. It's just a matter of time before we put it all together."

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