Recent practices haven't gone to waste for Shadow Ridge's softball team.
Coach Arthur Cassman has stressed more disciplined approaches at the plate, and that proved to be time well spent Thursday.
Shadow Ridge pounded out 13 hits on its way to a crucial 10-3 Northwest League win at Cimarron-Memorial, giving the Mustangs a boost in the Sunset Region playoff race. Seven players had at least one hit for Shadow Ridge.
"We tried to do some things in practice that will make adjustments and keep them focused," Cassman said. "We've been working a lot on our mental game and good approaches in the box and doing what we need to do to get it done."
The game was tied 1-1 after two innings, but Shadow Ridge (10-7, 6-4) used a bases-loaded walk and two runs scoring on wild pitches in the top of the third to take a 4-1 lead.
Shadow Ridge's Tana Feiner pitched a five-hitter with one intentional walk and one strikeout. The sophomore also went 2-for-3 with a walk and two RBIs.
Sarina Creswell hit a two-run home run to left field to pull Cimarron (12-10-2, 6-4) within 4-3 with one out in the bottom of the third, but Feiner retired 14 of the next 18 batters to end the game. She needed only two pitches to record the first two outs in the seventh.
"She's not going to come out and overpower, but she's a very democratic pitcher," Cassman said. "She gets a lot of those little popups that help us out. She'll get in and out of an inning in three or four pitches sometimes."
Shadow Ridge sophomore catcher JoJo Brewer crushed a solo homer over the left-field fence to put the Mustangs up 7-3 in the fifth.
"I just kept my head on the ball and made sure I didn't pull my head because that's one of my problems," Brewer said. "But I guess it hit a car, so that's pretty cool."
Easton Clements went 3-for-4 with two doubles and two runs for Shadow Ridge, and Brewer, Feiner, Danielle Buecker and Danette Daguiar added two hits each.
"We have several girls who are really versatile," Cassman said. "I've got several girls who can switch hit, who can hit for power both lefty and right, as well as slap and drag bunt. When you've got that kind of versatility, I've got any tool I need for any situation, and it makes it a lot easier to coach."
Creswell finished 2-for-3 with a home run, a double and three RBIs for Cimarron, and Sarah Murphy was 2-for-4 with a double and two runs.
Contact reporter Tristan Aird at email@example.com or 702-387-5203. Follow him on Twitter: @tristanaird.