The Douglas High School softball team came out swinging and never stopped.
The Tigers scored three runs before fans had a chance to settle into their seats after the national anthem, and then added six more in the fourth on their way to an easy 10-2 win over Carson Wednesday afternoon in a Northern Division I game.
Douglas improved to 17-12-2 overall and 13-8 in league, while Carson fell to 10-19-1 overall and 7-14 in league.
“We haven’t been (a fast starting team),” Douglas coach Rob Parks said. “We’ve played a lot of the harder teams in the second half of the season just like Carson has. It was good to get them going early and see them get on base. They went up there confident and it showed.”
Allison Meyer hit 3-for-4 and Kelly Sonnemann 2-for-3 at the top of the order. The Tigers collected 12 hits as a team.
Becka Breuer started for Carson, however, she only faced four hitters. She struck out Meyer to start the inning, but gave up consecutive singles to Sonnemann and Corryne Diaz plus a double just inside the third-base bag by Leonna Mortimer, which scored Sonnemann. That was the end of Breuer’s day in the circle.
“She faced four batters and three hit the ball hard,” Carson coach Shelby Tuttle said. “We went with our off-speed pitcher first and came in with Jen (Purcell). As you see, it didn’t really matter. They hit the ball well today all the way through the lineup.”
Winning pitcher Kali Sargent, the first hitter Purcell faced, singled home Diaz and Mortimer to make it 3-0. Purcell retired the next two hitters to end the inning.
Sargent, who retired nine of the first 10 batters she faced, allowed a run in the top of the fourth when Kandis Tuttle walked, moved to second on a Bailey Allen sacrifice bunt and scored on Michelle Perry’s deep double to center field.
Douglas answered with a vengeance in the bottom of the inning, scoring six times off Purcell to go up 9-1.
Katie Chieffo singled to center and Maddie Parks dropped down a bunt. Tuttle, who was trying to throw over the shoulder of Parks, airmailed the throw into right field. Chieffo scored on the play and Parks reached second base. Meyer singled to make it 5-1. A single by Sonnemann, a hit batter, a wild pitch, a sacrifice fly by Mortimer and a two-run single by Makayla Shaver made it 9-1. Douglas might have 10 run-ruled Carson save for the fact that Shaver was thrown out at home trying to score on a wild pitch.
The Tigers made it 10-1 in the fifth. Meyer singled moved to second on a wild pick-off throw, stole third and scored on an RBI single by Julia Gomez.
Carson’s final run came in the sixth when Purcell launched an opposite-field homer off Sargent, who finished with a four-hitter. Sargent had eight strikeouts and one walk plus she was supported by a defense that played errorless ball.
“She threw exactly what we expected,” Tuttle said of the Tigers’ junior ace. “She mixed her pitches well. She threw good off-speed and came in with the rise ball and we couldn’t lay off it. We have to have better bat control.”
The regional playoffs start Thursday at Bishop Manogue High School in Reno.
“Our team is moving in a positive direction going into the regional playoffs,” coach Parks said.
Note: Three Douglas seniors were recognized during a pregame Senior Day ceremony — Sonnemann, Chieffo and Gomez. Sonnemann, a four-year varsity starter, has signed to play at California State University-Humboldt.