Seventh-seeded Galena fought to the end, but it wasn’t enough to overcome No. 2 Spanish Springs’ offensive firepower Thursday in the first round of the Northern Region Division I softball tournament.
The Cougars’ 10-6 win at Bishop Manogue moved them into a semifinal game against Reno on Friday.
“It was a battle,” Spanish Springs head coach Jeff Davidson said. “Galena hit the ball well, they scored, we battled back. We became patient at the plate and that helped us. The girls really responded well.”
Early on, Galena looked poised to pull off an upset, taking a 3-0 lead into the bottom of the third. But Spanish Springs shortstop Courtney Huff tied the score at 3-3 with a three-run home run to left-center.
In the top of the fifth, Galena infielder Devon Casazza hit a three-run home run off Cougars ace Hayley Fein to give the Grizzlies a 6-4 lead. Fein, who was 19-9 with a 1.61 ERA in the regular season, gave up nine hits and six runs in seven innings. On Thursday, she bounced back late, allowing only two hits in the final 21/3 innings.
Galena’s chances dimmed with a two-run homer from the Cougars’ Regan Hubbard to tie the game at 6-6. Spanish Springs put the game away in the bottom of the sixth, scoring four runs off three wild pitches and a second Huff three-run homer.
Huff finished with six RBIs on the day.
“Courtney Huff made some phenomenal plays at shortstop,” Davidson said. “Her two home runs were big for us.”
In other first-round winner’s-bracket games at Manogue on Thursday, No. 1 seed Reed beat No. 8 Bishop Manogue, 6-0, behind Julia Jensen’s two-hit, complete-game shutout; Reno beat Damonte Ranch, 13-9, on the strength of two home runs from Hannah Flynn and one from Cozi Cook; and No. 5 McQueen beat Douglas, 7-1.