FERNLEY – Following a positive start in Thursday’s make-up ballgame against No. 1 Fernley, the Spring Creek softball team was hit hard – falling 17-2 due to the 15-run rule on a solo home run in the bottom of the fourth inning.
The Lady Spartans loaded the bases in the top of the first.
Senior Allie Thompson singled to third base, and junior Hailey Watson hit into a fielder’s choice at shortstop – the play not made at any base – but the next hitter struck out and put two away.
Another groundball to short by junior Shawnee Walters-Haas resulted in a fielder’s choice, but all were runners were safe once again.
With another grounder by junior Patience Swafford, the play was attempted at second to cut down the lead runner at home – Thompson safe on the play, giving Spring Creek a 1-0 lead.
Fernley evened the tally quickly in the bottom half.
Junior Reese Jones led off and reached with an error at shortstop and stole second base, scoring on an RBI base knock by Skylar Gothan.
Junior Colby Johnson was hit by a pitch, and the Lady Vaqueros took a 2-1 lead on a line-drive double to left field by senior McKenna Montgomery – scoring Gothan – and a groundout by sophomore Aschlynn Roemer drove in Johnson for a 3-1 advantage.
Fernley jumped to a 5-1 lead as the ball jumped off the bat of junior Katelyn Bunyard, who pulled a two-run bomb over the fence in left field.
Senior Olivia Victor doubled to right field, but the Lady Spartans got out of the inning with a groundout to Swafford at first base and a punchout on a dropped-third strike from sophomore pitcher Anessa Chiquete.
Spring Creek was retired in order in the top of the second, striking out and hitting into consecutive groundouts.
Back to the top of the order for Fernley in the bottom of the second, Jones drew a leadoff walk and then – deep fly.
Gothan drilled a two-run crank on a line drive to left field, opening a 7-1 lead.
Johnson followed with a single to first base, Montgomery hit her second double with a rip to center field and a groundout RBI by Roemer scored Johnson.
Montgomery was driven in by a triple from Bunyard – giving her a three-base poke and a homer in two at-bats – scoring on an RBI single by Victor to short for a 10-1 lead.
The advantage grew to 11-1 with an RBI double from Jones – scoring junior Natalie Stewart – and Gothan sent an RBI base knock to short, driving in junior Sam Conder for an 11-run cushion.
In the top of the third, Spring Creek scored a run due to an error in center field that allowed freshman Nyha Harris to reach third base.
She was driven in by a groundout RBI by Thompson, closing the deficit to 10 at 12-2.
Watson and Chiquete also reached base on Fernley errors – one at first and the other a third – but both runners were stranded with a groundout.
The Lady Vaqueros went back to power hitting in the bottom of the third.
Montgomery and Roemer led off with back-to-back doubles – the later scoring Montgomery – and Roemer came home on an RBI groundout from Victor.
Following a two-out error at second base, Fernley threatened to end the game in 2-2/3 innings.
A two-RBI double by Jones scored Stewart and Conder for a 16-2 lead, but the margin was held to 14 with a fly out to senior Tatum York in left field.
For the second time in four innings, Spring Creek went three-up, three down – junior pitcher Abigail Abrahamzon bookending the top of the fourth with strikeouts.
The Lady Spartans retired the first-two batters in the bottom of the fourth but could not extended the ballgame – Roemer walking off the Lady Vaqueros with a solo blast to straightaway center.
With the margin at 15, Fernley ended the contest with a 17-2 victory.
The Lady Vaqueros scored 17 runs on 16 hits, cranking three home runs (Bunyard, Gothan, and Roemer), seven doubles – three by Montgomery, two from Jones with two and one each for Roemer and Victor – and a triple by Bunyard.
Spring Creek’s lone hit went for a single off the bat of Thompson with one out in the top of the first inning, her RBI groundout serving as the only run driven in.
Thompson and Harris scored a run each for the Lady Spartans.
SPRING CREEK – 101 0 – 213
FERNLEY – 574 1 – (17)(16)5
The Lady Spartans (4-6 in league play) will open a two-game series with the Lady Dust Devils (3-5 in league) at 2 p.m. Friday, in Dayton.