Reed aims at five-peat, will be pushed by host Bishop Manogue and Spanish Springs
One impressive Reed run ended this year. Will a second?
The Raiders’ football team saw its streak of regional titles snapped at five in the fall and the Raiders’ softball squad is trying to get to five straight this weekend at the regional tournament hosted by Bishop Manogue.
The four-time defending regional champs will take the No. 1 seed into the tournament which starts Thursday and concludes Saturday afternoon. All eight participants are vying for the 4A North’s lone spot at state this year. Bishop Gorman is hosting Nevada’s final four next Thursday-Saturday.
Here is a quick look at the first-round matchups this weekend at Bishop Manogue:
No. 8 Carson (11-21, 10-12) – No. 1 Reed (30-2-1, 20-2), 12:30 p.m., Field 1
On paper, this is a prototypical 8-1 matchup.
The Raiders have rattled off 25 straight since getting swept in a doubleheader at Bishop Manogue in March. The Senators have dropped seven of their last 10.
Reed is 12-2 against the postseason field. Carson is 2-12.
To pull off the massive upset, the Senators will have to solve one of the best pitchers in state history in Julia Jensen. That is, unless coach Jon Wunder tries to rest Jensen and gives the ball to Aliya Lange (3-1, 1.91 ERA).
Reed won both league meetings with Carson, 13-1 and 9-2. It also has 7-3 and 13-2 non-league wins over the Senators.
No. 5 McQueen (16-3, 14-8) – No. 4 Damonte Ranch (18-10, 15-7), 12:30 p.m., Field 2
The Mustangs sneakily enter the postseason as one of the region’s hottest teams. They’ve won six straight (including a sweep of Bishop Manogue) and 11 of their last 12.
The same cannot be said of the Lancers, who are 3-4 in their last seven. They split a pair of one-run games with Reno on Saturday.
Damonte Ranch’s hot finish does not include games against McQueen. The two met in games No. 2 and 3 of the season in mid-March for a doubleheader in south Reno. The Lancers took game one, 5-2, and dropped the nightcap, 10-9.
The Mustangs’ are a high-powered offensive group with a team batting average of .353 (54 points higher than the Lancers’). Senior Emma Covert leads the way. She’s first on the team in batting average (.466), home runs (6) and RBIs (29).
No. 6 Reno (15-16, 12-10) – No. 3 Spanish Springs (26-7, 18-4), 2:30 p.m., Field 2
These two squads saw each other just last week.
Spanish Springs rolled 12-1 at Reno last Tuesday and pulled away for a 7-2 home victory two days later. The pair of victories ballooned the Cougars’ winning streak to seven games before they fell twice at Reed on Saturday and went from first to third place.
Reno managed a split with McQueen on Saturday and has lost three of its last four, eight of its last 12.
Spanish Springs coach Jeff Davidson has used a different tactic this year, comfortably using multiple starting pitchers. However, freshman Tyra Clary has established herself as the ace. She started both games against Reno, sat for game one against Reed, then took the ball in game two.
In the two victories over the Huskies, Clary went 14 innings, allowed three runs (two earned) on seven hits. She struck out 11 and walked two.
Despite Davidson’s willingness to deploy Mirinda Nichols and even Kaylah House, odds are the Huskies will see Clary for the third time in 10 days.
No. 7 Douglas (14-22, 10-12) – No. 2 Bishop Manogue (27-5, 18-4), 2:30 p.m., Field 1
The Miners won both meetings with the Tigers last month. Both contests were high-scoring. Manogue swept a doubleheader in Minden, 11-7 and 9-6.
Bishop Manogue was in the driver’s seat to claim the league title until it twice lost to Damonte Ranch last week. Had the Miners split, they would’ve been the No. 1 seed. The pair of losses to the Mustangs snapped a 10-game winning streak.
The Tigers go into the postseason at 4-2 in their last six, including a sweep of Carson on Saturday that gave them the No. 7 seed opposed to No. 8.
Douglas owns a run differential of -10. Bishop Manogue’s rests at +188.
The Miners have by far scored the most runs in the 4A North this year, at 330. That’s 49 more than Spanish Springs, which has plated the second most (281).