The Douglas softball team knew it had the pitching strong enough to hang in a pitchers’ duel this season.
It learned Tuesday that it has the defense and the clutch offense to be be able to prevail in one as well.
Douglas got an RBI single from Illiana Brown in the bottom of the sixth in Minden to pick up a 1-0 win over Reno.
The win boosted the Tigers to 11-4 overall on the year and 5-2 in league play.
“We have a strong team, top to bottom,” Douglas coach Andy Mitchell said. “We have a lot of people challenging for positions and we have a strong defense. What we’re working on is trying to get the kids to believe in themselves. When they come out and just play, they are a really strong team.”
Douglas got a standout performance in the circle from sophomore pitcher Kali Sargent, who struck out nine, walked three and scattered three hits in the complete-game shutout.
At one point she struck out four consecutive batters and at another, she fanned three straight.
“She has done a great job for us all year long,” Mitchell said. “She had a really good day. She worked ahead of the count all game long, got ahead of hitters and her change-up was working really well.
“She just did a great job.”
While Sargent was strong in the circle, she got help several times from the Tiger defense in key situations.
In the first inning, Reno hit an apparent sacrifice fly into right field, where Douglas’ Leonna Mortimer made the catch. The Reno baserunner at second tagged up and tried to advance to third, but Mortimer was able to throw the runner out at third all the way from right field.
Then, in the top of the sixth inning, Reno had runners on first and second with two outs and appeared to get the go-ahead hit on a single into left field.
Douglas’ Julia Gomez charged the ball, though, and sent a laser to catcher Kelly Sonnemann, causing Reno to hold the runner at third.
With the bases loaded and a 2-1 count to the batter, Sonnemann then picked the runner at third off, making a clean throw to Brown, who was able to apply the tag in time.
In the bottom of the sixth with one out, Sonnemann gritted out a walk after working the count to 2-2, fending off four consecutive pitches with fouls and then looking at the next two for balls.
Mortimer then came to the plate and also put together a big at bat, also going to 2-2 before fouling off a pitch, taking a ball, and then blasting a double down the third base line.
The hit moved Sonnemann to third base.
“Both of them had great at bats,” Mitchell said. “They fought off some close pitches and each won big at bats. That was big.”
Brown then lofted the second pitch she saw into right field for what would prove to be the game-winner.
Sargent closed out the game in the top of the seventh with two strikeouts and a foul out to Maddie Parks at first base.
Katie Kluever, Taylor McKinnon and Parks each had hits for Douglas while Mortimer finished with two.