Boosted by back-to-back victories on Friday and Saturday against championship-caliber opponents, the Douglas High softball team vaulted to second-place in its division at the 23nd annual Victory Preseason Tournament in Elk Grove, Calif.
The Tigers were 2-2-1 over three days against opponents that boast a combined 28-3-3 record so far this season. Two of those wins came Friday night against Vintage (Napa, Calif.) and Saturday against Pleasant Grove (Elk Grove, Calif.) — teams that played for California’s Sac-Joaquin Section Division I championship in 2013.
The Tigers ran out of steam on Saturday night, however, when they dropped a 7-0 decision in the blue division championship game against undefeated Vacaville, Calif. (7-0-1).
Leonna Mortimer slugged a grand slam home run to highlight a two-out, seven-run rally in the top of the seventh inning that lifted Douglas to its 9-4 semifinal victory against Pleasant Grove.
The Tigers were down to their final out against the Eagles’ ace pitcher Celina Matthias when Corryne Diaz and Allison Meyer singled. Kelly Sonnemann reached on an error to load the bases, then Mortimer drove a rise ball over the left fielder’s head for a grand-slam that gave the Tigers a 6-4 lead.
Kali Sargent pitched all seven innings, allowed four runs (one earned) on eight hits with four strikeouts and no walks.
Ten players contributed to the offensive effort. Diaz hit 2-for-4, Mortimer 2-for-4, Sargent 2-for-3, Layne Waggoner 1-for-4 with one RBI and two runs scored, Julia Gomez 1-for-2, one RBI and two sacrifice hits, Sonnemann 1-for-4, Katie Chieffo 1-for-4 with one RBI, Meyer 1-for-4 and Nicole Dunn had a sacrifice fly.
The night before, Sargent pitched a 2-hitter to beat Vintage. Douglas won it with a sixth inning rally. Sonnemann and Sargent connected for doubles to tie the score, 1-1, then Makayla Shaver singled pinch runner Morgan Gunnell home with the go-ahead run.
In the championship contest, the Vacaville Bulldogs scored two first-inning runs off Sargent then broke the game open with five more runs in the fifth. Vacaville is currently listed No. 13 in the MaxPreps.com California state rankings.
Shaver and Diaz collected the Tigers’ only two hits against Vacaville sophomore Katie Kibby.
Diaz collected seven hits during the tournament, including a pair of triples.
Notes: Reed defeated Bella Vista 3-2 in eight innings in the gold bracket championship game. … Douglas dropped a 5-2 decision Friday against the Lodi, Calif., in what amounted to a practice game after the Tigers’ scheduled opponent, Laguna Creek, dropped out of the tournament. ... Vintage came out of the losers bracket to sweep Pleasant Grove in the finals of last year’s Sac-Joaquin Section Tournament. Vintage ended its 2013 season with a 34-2 record.