Spanish Springs overcame three defensive errors thanks to the strong left arm of senior ace Brette Lawrence. The hard-throwing southpaw limited Galena to six hits in the complete-game shutout victory. She struck out six and walked only one.
"I thought Brette pitched extremely well to hold Galena down," SSHS coach Jeff Davidson said. "She was very effective today with her drop and change. She worked out of trouble several times during the game. She just pitched a great game today."
Lawrence was outstanding under pressure, stymieing a number of Galena threats. The host Grizz had runners on first and second in both the first and sixth innings. The GHS crew loaded the bases and even had a runner cut down at the plate in the second as Lawrence and the Cougars preserved the shutout. Lawrence was a big reason Galena stranded eight runners in defeat.
Conversely, Spanish Springs was able to rap out a few key hits and get a few key runs home despite leaving eight runners on base well.
The visitors broke the scoreless when they got a run in the second inning. Cougars cleanup hitter Taylor Helton provided that offense all by herself, mashing a solo homer over the fence in right-center field.
The 1-0 margin stayed intact into the fifth inning. That's when Spanish Springs tacked on a single score, extending its edge to 2-0. With one out, Cougars leadoff hitter Karlie Merritt reached on a Galena error. She scored, with two outs, after a Lawrence single and a wild pitch.
Spanish Springs added two more insurance runs in the top of the seventh to account for the final four-run gap. With two outs, Myrissa Prince and Lawrence laced back-to-back singles. Helton was hit by a pitch to saturate the sacks with Cougars. Prince raced home on a wild pitch and Lawrence crossed the plate on a single by Sadye Roulund.
"Offensively, Taylor got us going in the second inning with that leadoff home run. We hit the ball fairly well, but at times we were really not aggressive on our pitch. We kind of got out of our comfort zone, swinging at some pitches we should've laid off. But overall, the kids continue to battle at the plate. We did enough to win."
Spanish Springs (22-4 overall) sits 9-2 in league play with five games remaining on its league schedule. Two of those will come Saturday when the SSHS gang goes across town to play at arch rival Reed. First pitch of Game 1 is slated for 1 p.m.
•At Carson, the Reed Raiders overcame a poor start to come back and capture a 6-4 league road win Thursday afternoon.
Carson roughed up Reed starting Megan Dettling for four first-inning runs. She lasted just a third of an inning. Third-year RHS coach Jon Wunder called on junior Jackie Sertic and the right-hander responded, turning in 6 2-3 scoreless innings the rest of the way.
“Megan just struggled, which is uncharacteristic of her,” Wunder said. “That’s the nice thing about having two good pitchers. If one isn’t on, you can count on the other one to come in and do the job. Jackie did a good job of shutting their offense down.”
Reed (19-4-3, 10-1) chipped away and gradually overtook the hosts for the two-run triumph. The Raiders scored one run in the second, three in the fourth and one each in the fifth and sixth innings to account for their scoring.
“I told the kids to work at getting the runs back one at a time and we’d get back into the game,” Wunder said. “I’m pleased with the way we played.”
Marriah Levesque and Lindsay Yearman were both 3-for-4 at the plate in the win. Reed's No. 6-9 hitters turned in a sterling performance, finishing with seven hits in 12 plate appearances.
Wunder liked the way his team fought through the early adversity and persevered to earn the comeback win, especially in the wake of facing rival and perennial state power Spanish Springs Saturday.
"That was probably better for us going into Saturday against Spanish Springs than rolling them," Wunder said. "Carson put us on our heels. We had to chip away. Getting that win was great. Now we have to carry that over."