Cougars find some consolation after close defeats

A pair of one-run losses Thursday could have derailed Coronado’s weekend. Instead, the Cougars used it as motivation for a strong second day Friday in the Spring Jamboree at Majestic Park.

After routing Bell (Calif.) 11-2 in pool play, Coronado used a four-run first inning to springboard to a 10-1 softball win over South Florence (S.C.) in the quarterfinals of consolation bracket play.

“Today was the day,” Cougars coach Melissa Krueger said. “I preach to them win the week, win the day. Today we won the day.”

Coronado lost tight games to Chaminade (Calif.) and Beckman (Calif.) on Thursday, but scored nine runs in the final three innings of the win over Bell and carried that momentum into the game against South Florence.

Haley Harrison singled, stole second, took third on a groundout and scored on a wild pitch to give the Cougars the lead for good. After Danielle Amato’s double, Alex Battest’s RBI single and Nicole Hardy’s two-run double made it 4-0.

“The bottom of the order stepped up,” Krueger said. “We need offense, and we need defense. In the beginning (of the season) we were giving up runs early, but to get the lead early is important.”

Amato and the defense took care of the rest. She allowed five hits and struck out three, taking a shutout into the seventh.

Amato is rounding into form after offseason surgery on her pitching shoulder.

“She’s kind of limited innings-wise, and she’s not 100 percent, but she’s getting back there,” Krueger said.

Hardy and Emily Hendrix each were 2-for-4 with three RBIs, and Haley Harrison and Basia Query each were 2-for-4 for Coronado, which advanced to the Class 4A state final last year.

“I’m looking at next week and league play, and putting us in a position to be back where we were last year,” Krueger said. “We expect to be back there.”

Contact reporter Bartt Davis at bdavis@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-5230.

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