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Reed knocks Spanish Springs out of softball playoffs
by Dan Eckles
May 09, 2013 | 3743 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tribune photo by John Byrne - Reed catcher Kiara Shirley tags out SSHS courtesy runner Autumn Alexander during a fourth-inning play at the plate Thursday.
Tribune photo by John Byrne - Reed catcher Kiara Shirley tags out SSHS courtesy runner Autumn Alexander during a fourth-inning play at the plate Thursday.
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Tribune photo by John Byrne - Spanish Springs shortstop Bayley Broadwater tagged out Reed's Jackie Sertic on a play that ended the sixth inning of the Raiders' 3-0 regional playoff win Thursday.
Tribune photo by John Byrne - Spanish Springs shortstop Bayley Broadwater tagged out Reed's Jackie Sertic on a play that ended the sixth inning of the Raiders' 3-0 regional playoff win Thursday.
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RENO -- The Spanish Springs Cougars saw their season end Thursday afternoon after their arch rival, Reed, pulled out some late-game heroics. Reed broke up a scoreless pitchers' duel with three runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to capture a 3-0 triumph in a loser-out game at the Division I North Softball Tournament.

Through five and a half innings, the two teams were deadlocked at zeroes, but that changed when Reed finally found some offense in the bottom of the sixth. Raiders No. 2 hitter Marriah Levesque laced a leadoff single to initiate the RHS threat. Mary Dettling slapped a ground ball between first and second that went for an out but moved Levesque into scoring position at second base.

Mackenzie Goins stepped up next for Reed and roped a double into the left-center field gap, giving Reed a 1-0 advantage.

"I was not looking for a particular pitch," Goins said. "In my previous at-bats I had not had a good approach. I took a deep breath. I saw a pitch I liked and drove it."

Then, Lindsay Yearman hit a bloop foul ball just short of first base that was dropped by a Cougars infielder. Yearman took advantage of the extra opportunity and slashed a single to put Raiders on the corners.

Spanish Springs pitcher Brette Lawrence proceeded to strike out Brittni Greninger, meaning the SSHS crew could've been out of the inning trailing just 1-0 had the foul pop up been put away. However, that wasn't the case and Reed pitcher Jackie Sertic went on to help her own cause with a key hit.

Yearman had moved up to second on a defensive indifference and then Sertic ripped a line drive single to plate Goins and Yearman, forging Reed ahead 3-0. Sertic was tagged out at second trying to take an extra base, but the offensive damage had been done.

The Cougars tried to fight back. Singles by Amanda Barham and Taylor Helton put SSHS runners on first and second with one out. That's as good as it got for the High Desert League's No. 2 seed. Sertic induced a fielder's choice for an out and got Spanish Springs leadoff hitter Karlie Merritt to fly out to left field, ending the game and the Cougars' campaign.

Sertic finished with a complete-game shutout. She scattered seven Spanish Springs hits, striking out seven without giving up a walk.

"I feel like I pitched pretty well," Sertic said. "But the defense behind me was awesome. I felt like everything Spanish Springs hit, we'd get to. When Spanish Springs got runners on, I tried to really focus on location and put more emphasis on spot and spin."

The Cougars had a chance to grab the momentum before Reed.

In the top of the fourth, Lawrence and Ally Batastini started off the SSHS half inning with back-to-back singles. The duo moved up on a wild pitch, putting the Cougars with runners on second and third with no outs.

Sertic and the Raiders were unfazed. The Raiders' junior ace struck out Sadye Roulund for the first out. Barham tried to get a bunt down for a safety squeeze, but she bunted it right back to Sertic, who threw home and watched Raiders catcher Kiara Shirley easily tag out courtesy runner Autumn Alexander trying to score. Next, Sertic struck out Merritt, putting a wrap on the threat.

"That would've been huge if we could've scored there," SSHS senior Karlie Merritt said. "It would've given Brette more confidence, knowing she got some offensive support ... We just didn't jump on pitches like we should've and Reed took advantage."

Lawrence took the tough-luck loss despite holding Reed scoreless through the first five innings and allowing just the one earned run. She limited Reed to six hits, fanning four and walking a pair.

Reed extended its win streak against cross-town rival Spanish Springs to six games.

"I'm not going to say our sweep this season made a difference, but we've had recent success against Spanish Springs," Reed coach Jon Wunder said. "We're not intimidated. It's not like three, four or five years ago. I think we've leveled the playing field. We're pretty evenly matched and the games between us can go either way, like today. We executed when we needed to."

Spanish Springs, which won three state titles in a four-year span from 2007-2010, finishes its season with a 26-8 record and fails to qualify for state play for the third straight season.

"We played a helluva game today," Spanish Springs senior catcher Sidney Sinclair said. "We played so good. We just came up short. Reed just ended up getting the key hits when they needed to and we didn't."

Reed, which has beaten league rivals Reno and Spanish Springs in back-to-back regional playoff affairs, after an opening-round loss to Galena, improves to 24-7-3 and will now meet Bishop Manogue Friday at 3 p.m. in another elimination game.

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