PANACA, Nev. — The Lady Cougars returned from spring break, returning to play with three road games last week.
The squad dropped both conference doubleheader games against Lincoln County last Friday but picked up a 19-6 win over SLAM Academy Bulls earlier in the week.
The 1-2 showing for the week moves the Cougars to 7-13 overall and 2-6 in the NIAA 2A Southern League.
Laughlin has a crucial home doubleheader this Friday, as the Lady Cougars face region opponent Lake Mead Academy, also 2-6 in league. The series determines who claims the final spot in the four-team playoffs.
“We were pretty rusty for the first couple of innings,” said head coach Aaron Schellie, by email after the SLAM game. “It took us a few at-bats to get back in the swing of things. As the game progressed we had more quality and were much more patient.”
Patience at the plate turned into 20 walks, which helped push the Cougar scoreline in the five-inning mercy-rule rout.
Alexis Swain-McKay was 2-for-4 on the day with four RBIs. She also scored twice.
Other notable performers: Fejay Crevier, 1-for-2, walked twice, three runs scored; Savannah Santillano 2-for-3 walked twice, four runs scored; and Deztiny Duran 2-for-2, walked three times, and three runs scored.
On the defensive side, Samantha Sarinana pitched all five innings with five strikeouts, and her defense played well behind her.
“Defensively, we had a few errors, but we were able to get out of some jams by turning two inning-ending double plays,” Schellie said.
The Cougars dropped both games in the Lincoln doubleheader, losing 18-7 and 12-2.
Sarinana pitched all seven innings and hit a 3-run home run in the opening game. McKenzie Jiron also batted 2-for-3 and scored twice.
“We had a bad inning defensively in the first game, and they pulled away from there,” Schellie said. “Lincoln is a good team, and we gave them extra outs in a few innings and they made us pay.
“That is what good teams do.”
In the nightcap, the Cougars registered only four hits. Schellie said that they put the ball in play, but it was hit right at Lincoln defenders often.
Sarinana pitched the first two innings in game two and Caitlyn Schelper came in as the relief to throw the final three in the five-inning game.
“I thought we played pretty well overall, and I am proud of their efforts,” Schellie said. “We are seeing steady improvement, and that is what we have talked about from day one, get better every day.”
He also noted Santillano was outstanding defensively at third base in the doubleheader.