RENO—Arguably the two best teams in the DI North collided on Saturday for a big doubleheader.
Reed went to Reno and swept the Huskies on their home field to remain undefeated in league play. The Raiders improved to 22-1-1, 15-0 while the Huskies dipped to 12-7, 10-5.
“Reno is a good team,” Reed coach Jon Wunder said. “If you can come over here and take two at their place, you’re definitely going to be happy with that.”
Now with just two weeks (seven games) left in the regular season, Reed goes to Galena (12-8, 10-5) on Thursday then returns home next Saturday for a doubleheader against North Valleys. The Panthers entered Saturday with just one win.
Reed 11, Reno 5
Julia Jensen entered the circle in the bottom of the second with two outs, runners on second and third, and the Raiders sitting on a 6-4 lead in Saturday’s finale.
Wunder has grown accustomed to watching what Jensen did next.
She struck out the next batter to escape the jam then cruised the rest of the way to pick up the win. She retired 16 of 18 total batters she faced, allowing just one run on one hit over 5.1 innings. She struck out 10 and walked a lone batter.
“I think she finished the day with what? 25 strikeouts?” Wunder pondered of Jensen who threw a complete game in Saturday’s opener. “Julia is Julia. But you know what? If you ask her, she’ll tell you she can still improve.”
The score held at 6-4 until the top of the of the fourth when Kenzi Goins hit a two-run homer.
Reed, no, Jensen, broke the game open in the top of the sixth. With one out and runners on second and third, the Raiders’ ace belted the first pitch she saw at least 50 feet beyond the fence in center.
“One thing about Julia’s home runs, there’s never any doubt,” Wunder said.
Reno got its only hit off Jensen in the ensuing frame when Jensen left a two-strike pitch over the plate to Cook Cosette and she deposited the Huskies’ third round tripper of the game over the left field fence.
Jensen’s dominance in relief came after an eventful second innings, for both teams.
Reed scored six times in the top of the inning. In a scary moment, Reno starting pitcher Moran Eisele was hit in the chest by a screaming line drive off Mckenzie Howren’s bat and was down for several minutes before eventually walking off the field. Christie Betker, who threw a complete game in Saturday’s opener, took over Eisele and finished the game.
Reno responded with four runs in the bottom of the frame. Alexia Young led off with a solo shot to left and three batters later Hannah Flynn hit a two-run shot. The rally ended Aliya Lange’s day, who started in place in Jensen.
“Aliya works hard. She’s been pitching well,” Wunder said. “We want to get her some more innings, get that experience. And we want to give Julia (Jensen) some rest … That was the ultimate goal.”
Reed 4, Reno 2
Jensen and Betker competed in a pitcher’s duel in Saturday’s game.
Jensen emerged the victor due to her ability at the plate.
After the Huskies tied the game at 1-1 in the bottom of the sixth on a throwing error, Jensen led the top of the seventh inning off with a solo home run to left.
Howren and Carla Hernandez provided a pair of insurance runs with RBI singles which proved big because the Huskies rallied in their final at bat.
Reno put runners on first and second with two outs, bringing the tying run to the plate in the form of leadoff hitter Dominique Harding.
Harding sent an RBI single up the middle but Carys Cook rounded second too wide. Jensen took the throw from center and flipped to second in time to get Cook and end the game.
Fein dominates as Cougs keep pace
Spanish Springs picked up a pair of narrow victories at Damonte Ranch on Saturday to remain two games back of first-place Reed.
The Cougars improved to 18-9, 13-2. The Mustangs fell to 11-10, 8-7.
Spanish Springs will host Reno (12-7, 10-5) on Thursday and Carson (7-18, 4-11) on Saturday for a doubleheader.
Spanish Springs 5, Damonte Ranch 2
The Cougars pounded out 10 hits in a persistent offensive attack, scoring in the first, second, fourth and sixth innings to seal the doubleheader sweep on Saturday.
Hayley Fein went the distance, allowing two runs (one earned) despite the Cougs committing five errors. She scattered three hits, struck out eight and walked one.
Courtney Huff was 3-for-3 with a trio of singles, and RBI and a run scored.
Spanish Springs 2, Damonte Ranch 0
Fein was spectacular in Saturday’s initial contest.
She threw a complete game shutout, scattering six hits. She also struck out 10 batters without walking anyone.
The Cougars scored their lone runs in the first and the seventh, as they finished with six hits as well.
Aubrey Parks was the only Coug with a multi-hit game, going 2-or-3 and scoring a run.
Sparks settles for split at Dayton
Sparks split a doubleheader at Dayton on Saturday and held to settle for taking one of three games from the Dust Devils in the series.
The Railroaders moved to 5-15, 5-15 in the DI North. The Dust Devils improved to 2-18-1, 2-15 with their first two wins of the season.
Sparks will take a break from league play next weekend in Lassen, before hosting Truckee (4-17, 1-16). next Tuesday, May 3.
Dayton 8, Sparks 2
The Railroaders didn’t score until the sixth and seventh innings, and by that time they were in an insurmountable 8-0 hole in the final game of the set on Saturday.
Sparks finished with just four singles as a team in the loss.
Sparks 16, Dayton 5
Sparks scored 11 runs in the first two innings and went on to roll to its only win of the weekend in the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader.
The Railroaders put up 16 runs despite finishing with just six hits. They instead benefited from the free pass, drawing 14 walks.