Reed and Spanish Springs waved goodbye to the regular season on Monday with a doubleheader at Reed.
The Raiders and Cougars were locked into their seeds (No. 1 and No. 2 respectively) going in so the outcome, a split, had no impact on either team’s positioning in Thursday’s regional tournament at Bishop Manogue.
The Raiders, who fell 1-0 in the first game before rolling in five innings in game two, moved to 27-3-1, 20-2, but have dropped two of their last four heading into the postseason. Both losses were at home. They were stunned by McQueen last week.
The Cougars (22-12, 17-5) aren’t exactly rolling, either. They’ve lost two of their last three with both losses coming on the road in convincing fashion. They fell 14-3 at Bishop Manogue on Friday.
Reed will open the regional tournament at 12:30 p.m. on Thursday at Bishop Manogue against the No. 8 seed. Spanish Springs will play the No. 7 seed at 2:30 p.m.
Reed 13, Spanish Springs 1 (5 innings)
Jessica Sellers hit a “walk off” three-run home run in the bottom of the fifth to put the Raiders up 12 and prevent a Cougars doubleheader sweep in game two on Monday.
Sellers, who went 3-for-4, capped an eight-run inning with her bomb.
Both teams elected to go with their backup pitchers after throwing their aces in game one. Aliya Lange picked up the five-inning win for the Raiders, allowing one earned run on four hits and two walks. She fanned four.
Spanish Springs held a 1-0 lead after the first two innings, before Reed scored three times in the third, twice in the fourth and never let the Cougs bat again with a big fifth.
Julia Jensen was 2-for-3 with a home run, a double, three RBIs and a pair of runs scored. The Raiders outhit the Cougs, 11-4.
Spanish Springs scored its only run in the top of the second when No. 9 hitter Courtney Huff poked a two-run single.
Spanish Springs 1, Reed 0
Hayley Fein outdueled Jensen to lead the Cougs to a narrow win in game one on Monday.
Fein allowed five hits over seven scoreless innings to pick up the victory. She struck out five and did not walk a batter. Jensen was charged with a lone earned run on four hits in a matching complete game to absorb the loss. She fanned 14 and walked one.
The Cougars scored what proved to be the game-winning run in the top of the third. Aubrey Parks drew a one-out walk, was sacrificed to second, then scored on a Katelyn Townsend RBI single up the middle. Townsend was the only player on either team with more than one hit, finishing 3-for-3.
The Raiders were 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position. They spoiled a leadoff double in the bottom of the fifth.
Railroaders end season five games out of playoffs
Sparks’ season ended with a thud on Monday, getting outscored 27-0 in a pair of home losses to Fallon.
It was a close to frustrating campaign for the Railroaders, who entered the season with realistic playoff aspirations. They finished 6-22-1, 5-19 in the DI-A North—five games back of Spring Creek for the sixth and final playoff spot.
Sparks entered the doubleheader already eliminated from the postseason. Fallon was still playing for something though. With the sweep, the Greenwave (22-2, 22-2) secured the league title. They are technically tied with Fernley, but own the tiebreaker by virtue of taking two of three games from the Vaqueros in the regular season.
Three seniors played their final games in a Sparks uniform, but it appears the window of opportunity will remain open for the program. Five freshmen and three sophomores were on the varsity roster.
Monday’s games were originally scheduled to be played Saturday but had to be postponed to Monday due to weather.
Fallon 11, Sparks 0 (6 innings)
Likely deflated on the tail end of a long spring, Sparks committed 10 errors in its final contest.
Marisa Coleman was 2-for-3 with the doubles, accounting for the majority of Sparks’ three team hits. She also threw all six innings. Only two of the Greenwave’s runs were earned.
Fallon 16, Sparks 0 (5 innings)
The Railroaders only committed three errors in Monday’s first game (a relative low compared to the nightcap’s total) but were no hit by the Greenwave for the second straight game.
Junior Kayla Buckmaster struck out 10 over five hitless innings. She was five walks away from a perfect game.
Fallon scored 10 runs in the first inning and benefited from 10 walks in the game.