The Carson Sharks carved out single runs in five of their six at-bats to knock off the Reno Predators 5-2 Saturday afternoon to win the 14-and-under National Softball Association (NSA) B State Championship.
It was a tough game, and Carson coach Craig McEwan said that always happens with the Predators.
"It's been a big rivalry all year long," McEwan said. "All year they have given us our toughest games. The first two times we played to ties and we beat them the last four times, but they were all tight games."
Thera Frank came through big time for the Sharks for the second straight day. She struck out five, didn't walk a batter and allowed only four hits, only two of those coming after the first inning when she allowed a run and two hits.
"Like always (she came through)," McEwan said. "She's not only a good pitcher, but a wonderful kid. We have great chemistry on this team, and Thera is a big part of that."
Sara Mangiarcina singled home Daria Leid, who had singled to open the inning. Carson might have been able to do more damage, but the rally was cut short when Katie McEwan's hard-hit groundball hit Mangiarcina running to third. Predator pitcher Kelsey Dory retired the next hitter to end the inning.
Carson took a 3-1 lead in the third when Loretta Cagle reached on an error and scored on a two-out single by Baylan Munoz.
The Predators cut the lead to 3-2 thanks to an error, a single by Lydia Brown and a run-scoring infield out by Lynn Iosua.
Carson got the run back in the bottom of the inning when Hannah Shaw reached on an error and eventually scored on Loretta Cagle's infield out. The run could have been cut off at the plate, but the Predators chose to play the infield back.
The Sharks closed out the scoring in the sixth when Leid tripled off the base of the fence and scored on Mangiarcina's infield out, as the Predators again played the infield back despite the fact they trailed by two runs.
Leid led the Sharks with two hits and two runs scored. It was her second game of the tournament where she produced two hits.
10-UNDER B DIVISION
There is something about the international tie-breaker and the Fallon Elite that bring out the best in the Carson Sharks 10-and-under team.
Earlier in the day, the Sharks scored three times in the eighth inning to knock off Fallon Elite 7-4. After Fallon forced an if-needed game with a 7-3 win of its own, the teams went to extra innings again in the title game, and Carson emerged with a 10-9 eight-inning win thanks to a passed ball to claim the NSA state crown.
Carson held what should have been a comfortable 7-3 lead entering the top of the seventh. Fallon roared back to tie the game at 7 when Mikala Torres caught the Carson sound asleep and stole home with the bases loaded and two outs.
Fallon scored twice in the first extra inning, but Carson scored three of its own to win the title.
Tiffany Patrick had a two-run single to give the Sharks a 3-2 lead in the third, and Mariah Hartley's infield out gave Carson an insurance run and a 5-3 lead after five innings.
Fallon had a runner thrown out at the plate in the top of the sixth, and Carson tacked on two more runs in the sixth on Jocelyn Young's single for a 7-3 bulge, setting the stage for the wild seventh inning.
In the first championship game, Jill Pinder scattered nine hits to beat Carson. The Sharks scored all three of their runs in the sixth, breaking Pinder's shutout and cutting Fallon's lead to 5-3. Fallon put the game away in the seventh with two unearned runs after two were out.
Patrick led Carson with two singles.
In a late Saturday game, Young pitched a 1-hitter to give the Sharks a 9-1 win over the Predator Blue squad. Young fanned six and walked three.
Megan Barrette went 2 for 3 to lead the offense.
n Darrell Moody can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling (775) 881-1281