Sheehan outdeuls McCormick as Spartans edge Panthers in 14 innings


Carrie Sheehan insisted her right arm wasn’t sore after Tuesday’s softball game.

Maybe the thrill of leading Cimarron-Memorial to a 14-inning win over rival Palo Verde pushed aside any soreness from throwing 204 pitches in a complete game.

Sheehan and fellow sophomore Missy McCormick put on a pitching clinic, but the visiting Spartans scored an unearned run to edge Palo Verde 2-1 in the Northwest League opener for both teams.

“It’s awesome,” Sheehan said. “I feel great right now.”

Sheehan tossed a seven-hitter and struck out 16. McCormick pitched a four-hitter and struck out 22, which is believed to be a state record.

“We want competitive games, obviously, but wow,” Cimarron coach Steve Gorden said. “Carrie is just so talented. She can go a long way in softball.”

Jessica White’s two-out double to left-center with two outs in the top of the 14th brought home Hannah Williams with the decisive run.

Williams reached when her bunt was misplayed by Palo Verde’s third baseman — the Panthers’ sixth error.

“Honestly, I thought we were the better hitting team; we just made some errors,” Palo Verde coach Kelly Glass said. “I’m trying to fill a hole at third base.”

White followed, hitting the first pitch to the gap in left-center. Panthers center fielder Alex Alakai fell trying to track down the ball, allowing Williams to score from first.

“You just have to focus on what you need to do,” said White, who was 0-for-4 and reached on a misplayed sacrifice bunt before her hit. “I was still confident, but it was nerve-racking.”

White was McCormick’s seventh strikeout victim ... and her 11th ... and her 13th ... and her 20th.

“That hit was huge,” Gorden said.

Neither team scored until the 10th inning, though Palo Verde loaded the bases with no outs in the seventh.

Lauren Stover led off the seventh with a double, and consecutive intentional walks gave the Panthers a golden chance to win.

But Cimarron brought Williams, the right fielder, into the infield, and the move paid off. Williams snagged Desi King’s line drive and doubled off the runner at first. A grounder to first ended the threat.

“Thank goodness for my defense,” Sheehan said. “I can’t  do anything without them.”

White scored in the 10th on three Palo Verde errors and a passed ball.

The Panthers responded in the bottom half of the inning. Rachel Mez singled, moved to third on two wild pitches and scored on

McCormick’s two-out, two-strike single to left-center.

McCormick, who had eight strikeouts in the first three innings, threw 184 pitches.

“She does a great job for us,” Glass said. “She pitched her heart out.”

McCormick’s 22 strikeouts are the most ever reported to the Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association, which keeps the state’s record book.

Mallary Darby struck out 19 batters in a seven-inning game for Spanish Springs last year, a feat that was matched this month by Bishop Manogue’s Megan Dortch.