SANGER — A run that put Sanger on the verge of rolling through its Class 3A area-round playoff series opener against Nevada Community started innocently enough Friday night when Morgan Turkoly stroked a single to center field with two outs in the second inning.
By the time Community finally recorded the third out, a lot of time had passed and Sanger was well on its way to a 12-3 win to open a three-game set that will continue at noon today in Nevada.
Sanger pounded out 14 hits and took advantage of six Community errors while rolling to the win.
“We hit the ball well tonight,” Sanger coach Jae McMinn said. “That gave us a lot of confidence.”
Eight of the nine players in Sanger’s lineup posted a hit or scored a run.
The Lady Indians (28-4) did most of their damage in that key second inning, scoring seven runs while sending 11 batters to the plate.
Sanger was up 2-1 with two outs in the second with Natalie Castillo standing at first base when Turkoly really got the Lady Indians going with her single. Sanger had seven consecutive hitters reach base and come around to score.
Third baseman Mikayla Stogsdille, center fielder Nicole Nordie and catcher Victoria Eakman delivered run-scoring singles, capping a run of four straight hits that began with Turkoly’s single.
Bailey Ferguson had two hits in the second. Sanger’s right fielder led the inning off with a single to center field and drove in the final two runs of the rally with a triple to right.
Sanger’s second-inning surge made pitcher Kelly Mardones’ job easy. The sophomore bounced back from giving up a run in the top of the first and continued to throw strikes.
Mardones walked Community second baseman Chelsie Wilson to start the game and saw her come around to score on a single by Baylee Travers before settling in and walking just two additional batters the rest of the game.
Community (16-7) had runners on base in every inning other than the second, but it never got on track offensively other than a brief third-inning surge. Mardones allowed two runs on three consecutive two-out singles before striking out catcher Marisha Rivas to get out of the jam.
Mardones didn’t hit but kept Community at bay after her teammates gave her a big lead to work with via their big second-inning rally.
“We build off each other when we start hitting the ball well,” Mardones said. “We had a lot of energy in the dugout.”
BRETT VITO can be reached at 940-566-6870 or via Twitter at @brettvito.