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Cougars finish off sweep of Lancers
by Dan Eckles
May 09, 2009 | 730 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tribune /John Byrne - Spanish Springs senior Ashley Collier fires a pitch to the plate during Saturday's twin bill with McQueen.
Tribune /John Byrne - Spanish Springs senior Ashley Collier fires a pitch to the plate during Saturday's twin bill with McQueen.
The Spanish Springs softball team could not have ended its regular season on a much better note. The Cougars cruised to a pair of 10-0 and 6-0 victories, sweeping a doubleheader at home from High Desert League rival McQueen Saturday.

THe SSHS-nine got a pair of standout pitching performances in the twin bill. In Game 1, junior Karlyn Jones scattered five Lancers hits in the complete-game shutout. She struck out five without issuing a walk en route to victory.

In Game 2, senior Ashley Collier gave up seven hits, but nixed every Lancers rally and finished with a five-strikeout, one-walk outing. The pitching effort was Collier's best in the circle since she returned from an injury last month.

"It was nice," Collier said. "I've been kind of sick, but it felt good throwing like that. I felt like I had better command and was throwing more strikes."

Game 1 was never in question. The host Cougars put up five first-inning runs and were never threatened. Ashley Decker singled and stole second. She scored on a Karley Hopkins single. Jones followed with a triple to plate Hopkins and then Collier singled to score Jones. Courtney Darby's two-run double capped the Cougars' rally.

After going down in scoreless second and third innings, Spanish Springs extended its edge to 8-0 by tacking on a trio of fourth-inning runs. Sydney Darby, Decker, Hopkins and Collier all laced singles in the frame.

Spanish Springs put the 10-run mercy rule into effect with a pair of sixth-inning runs. Jones singled and Collier walked. Danica Arterburn then proceeded to rip a two-run double, ending the game.

Spanish Springs had to work a bit harder in Game 2. The Cougars posted single runs in the first, second and third innings but could not blow the game open until putting together a three-run rally in the bottom of inning six.

In the first inning of the second affair, Decker gave Spanish Springs an early 1-0 lead when she singled, stole second and scored on a Hopkins single. In the second inning, Morgan Frey reached on an error and came plateward after a Dani Smith single. The Cougars' third-inning run came after Hopkins singled, stole second and third and then raced home on a sacrifice fly by Jones.

The Cougars' final three runs went up on the scoreboard in the sixth. Smith had a two-run triple and Sydney Darby rapped out a run-scoring single.

"It's very nice to get a sweep. We'd had trouble leaving runners on base," Cougars coach Jeff Davidson said. "Today, our kids capitalized on those opportunities and hit the ball hard. Everybody contributed and that was the key to the sweep."

Spanish Springs (24-6, 15-3), the HDL's No.2 playoff seed, will open the Northern 4A Tournament Thursday at noon against Damonte Ranch.
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