Carson thwarts Sparks

Amanda Hoff's seventh-inning home run thwarted a Sparks High comeback on Thursday to give Carson High a 7-6 Northern 4A Zone road win in Sparks.

Carson took an early 6-0 after two innings in the game before seeing its lead evaporate as the Railroaders responded with six runs of their own.

With the game tied at 6 in the top of the seventh, Hoff came to the plate with one out and slammed the home run which proved to be the game-winner.

"Amanda had not played softball in a couple of years before this season and she is getting better and better," said Carson coach John Sullivan. "Only a junior, she's been a pleasant surprise for the team. She's a strong girl with a great arm and a great bat and she could become a dominant player next season."

With a one-run lead in the bottom of the seventh, Carson's Nicole Freeman shut down the Railroaders to improve the Senators' record to 16-6. Freeman, appearing fully recovered from her shoulder injury suffered April 22 against Foothill High, went the distance to pick up the win, striking out 10 while allowing six hits.

Carson scored three runs in both the first and second innings to build its 6-0 lead. But Sparks (6-16) scored six runs in the middle innings to draw even with the Senators.

"We made some errors and bad throws to help Sparks back into the game," Sullivan said. Carson committed four errors in the game while Sparks committed none. "Before we knew it, it was tied."

Carson's young hitters came through in the game, as juniors recorded six of the Senators' 11 hits. Chrissy Joseph was 2-for-3 with 3 RBIs, Hoff was 2-for-3 and Tricia Hudgins was 2-for-2.

Carson plays a doubleheader at Reno High on Saturday. The game is likely a preview of the first round of the zone playoffs, as the Senators and Huskies appear headed for a opening-round matchup.

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