"It was a great effort for the girls," Spanish Springs coach Jeff Davidson said. "They were focused and they hit the ball well."
The visiting Lancers scored a run in the top of the first inning in Game 1, which was called after five innings due to Nevada's 10-run mercy rule. That quick 1-0 lead was about the lone bright spot on the day for McQueen.
The Cougars tied the game at 1-1 in the bottom of the first after Myrissa Prince reached on an error in right field and scored shortly thereafter on another MHS fielding miscue.
Spanish Springs took the lead for good when it posted four second-inning scores. Kayla Arterburn started the rally with a one-out single. With two outs, Aubrene Blas singled. Sidney Sinclair followed and laced a single to score Arterburn. Kelsie Merritt stepped up next and ripped a run-scoring single as well. Sinclair and Merritt both crossed the plate in the inning on passed balls, eventually extending the hosts' edge to 5-1.
The Cougars weren't done. They scored in every inning of the five-inning affair. Megan Archer singled and scored the SSHS gang's lone run in the third inning.
The Cougars offense exploded for another four spot in the fourth frame. Sinclair singled and Merritt reached on an error. Sinclair came plateward on a wild pitch. Merritt scored on a Brette Lawrence RBI single. Next, Ally Batastini reached on a fielder's choice and circled the sacks on an Archer double. Archer came around to score on an Arterburn single.
Spanish Springs, which rapped out 13 hits in the lopsided victory, ended the game early, putting the 10-run rule into effect after it tacked on two more runs in the bottom of inning five. Lawrence had an RBI single and Batastini an RBI double to account for the last two runs.
"We hit a lot of balls hard, even some outs," Davidson said. "When you do that, you know the kids are making adjustments. They are getting their hands above the ball and driving the ball. That makes you happy as coaches."
Batastini picked up the pitching win as well. She scattered six McQueen hits and allowed only one earned run while striking out four. She did not give up a walk.
"I felt like I was on today," she said. "I feel like I'm most effective when I get my off-speed stuff going and it was working today, especially my knuckeball and change-up. I thought I worked in and out well and kept them off the balance."
Game 2 was not quite as high-scoring but Spanish Springs was never really threatened. The Cougars built a 6-0 lead by scoring a trio of runs in both the first and second innings.
Autumn Alexander got the SSHS offense going in the second contest when she led off the bottom of the first with a single. Merritt got down a sacrifice bunt but reached safely after a McQueen error on the sequence. That left Cougars on second and third. A Lawrence sac fly got Spanish Springs on the scoreboard at 1-0. Sadye Roulund then doubled home Merritt, but was cut down on the base paths soon after. With two outs, Archer singled. She raced home on an RBI single by Amanda Barham.
Spanish Springs went right back to work in its half of the second. Karlie and Kelsie Merritt both singled and scored after a pair of McQueen errors. The final run of the inning came when Lawrence reached on a fielder's choice and her courtesy runner, Prince, scored on a Roulund single
Lawrence worked all seven innings in the circle to collect the pitching win in Game 2. She limited the Lancers to three hits, fanning seven without issuing a walk. Both McQueen runs came in the fourth inning and were earned.
"Both of our pitchers today were moving the ball around," Davidson said. "And we scored early in both games. That makes a huge difference in your mental approach. It puts pressure on the other team and lets your hitters and pitchers play more relaxed."
Spanish Springs improves to 20-4 overall and 8-2 in conference clashes.