The Douglas High softball team picked up a key Sierra League sweep in Minden Saturday afternoon against a Manogue squad with a roster largely unchanged from last year’s regular-season runner-up finish.
“I was really happy with what I saw today,” Douglas coach Andy Mitchell said. “Both pitchers kept us in each game, the hitters did really well and we saw a lot of clutch hits. The kids kept battling and they earned some confidence today. They got some runs when they needed them and just believed in each other. Manogue has been tough for a long time and they haven’t really lost anyone. It was huge to win these games.”
Douglas won the first game 9-7 in what was a defensive struggle early on that later developed into a dramatic display of offense.
The Tigers again built an early lead in Game 2 only to have to fend off a late Miner charge to hold on for an 8-4 win.
“There wasn’t really a point today where we were able to get comfortable,” Mitchell said. “Manogue kept after us and made it interesting. To our girls’ credit, they kept finding ways to answer.”
Douglas held the edge through much of Game 1, building a 4-1 lead through five innings, but Manogue broke out with a big four-run top of the sixth to go up 5-4.
Three of Manogue’s four runs in the frame came with two outs, but the Tigers were able to settle down to close out the inning.
The Miners appeared to have full control of the momentum, though, and quickly recorded two outs to begin the bottom of the sixth. However, a fielder’s choice left Makayla Shaver aboard, which ended up being exactly the key Douglas would need.
Taylor McKinnon laced a two-out single up the middle and Maddy Parks came up with a big single on the first pitch she say to bring Shaver around for the tying run and set Douglas back up at the top of the order.
“That was very big in the outcome of this game,” Mitchell said. “The bottom of the order came up with those two-out hits to get us back on top. That was an incredible turn there. Everyone came through when we needed them to. They picked up some big experience today.”
In the next at bat, Katie Kluever belted a triple off the center field fence, bringing the go-ahead and an additional run across.
Freshman Allison Meyer provided the exclamation point on the win, smashing a two-run home run deep over the fence in right center.
Manogue ended up bringing an additional two runs across in the top of the seventh, but Douglas was able to seal the win with a pair of ground outs.
Freshman Kaitlin Bowman struck out three and walked one in the complete-game win.
Kluever singled, doubled and tripled, driving in two, Meyer drove in three and Illiana Brown hit a home run and drove in two runs.
Kelly Sonnemann doubled and drove in a run and Leonna Mortimer, Bowman, McKinnon and Parks each singled.
In Game 2, Douglas went up 6-0 through the first three innings before Manogue blasted a three-run home run to cut the deficit in half.
Douglas got two runs in the bottom of the fifth to go up 8-3, but Manogue scratched another run across before the Tigers were able to close out the game.
Kali Sargent struck out six and walked none on her way to the win in the circle.
Kluever went 2-for-3 and Meyer went 3-for-4 as each drove in a pair of runs. Kluever doubled and Meyer tripled in the game. Sonnemann, Mortimer and Parks each drove in a run as well.
Makayla Shaver collected a pair of hits and a pair of runs and Parks, McKinnon, Sargent, Mortimer and Brown each singled.