McGowan, Wooster sweep doubleheader from Douglas

MINDEN -- As long as Brianne McGowan remains a Wooster Colt, opposing teams will simply have to lower their expectations. That's the only way Douglas can justify a pair of extra-inning losses on Tuesday to the Colts, the two-time defending state champions.

"The umpires said you are the only team in the North that can play with these guys," said Douglas coach Rick Smith. "You can't say enough about Brianne McGowan."

Let's try.

In the first game, McGowan struck out 15 batters in a 1-0 win, the third highest single-game strikeout total in Nevada 4A history, according to the NIAA. In the second game, Smith was hoping to see someone else besides 6-foot-2 pitcher, whose fast ball has been clocked in the mid 60s. No luck.

McGowan and Wooster came back to win the second game 5-1, thanks to a four-run eighth inning that all but ended a chance at a possible Tiger comeback. At least, not with McGowan pitching.

"I think we did a good job of putting the ball in play and putting pressure on their defense," Smith said. "We had a couple of bad calls in the second game, but the girls did play well. They stepped it up."

No question about it, Douglas can play with Wooster. The Tigers outhit the Colts in the first game (4-2) and equaled their hit total of five in the second game. Douglas nearly won the second game after a disastrous sixth inning for the Colts, when they committed two errors and McGowan allowed two singles.

The Tigers' Ashley Arneson, who reached on an error to start the inning, scored to make it 1-1 after Lindsey Rollins also reached on an error. Rollins eventually advanced to second. Tasha McCann thought she had the game-winning hit after her infield single, but a questionable call at home resulted in Rollins being called for the third out to end the inning.

Douglas (6-2 league) only had one base runner after that.

The first game was a classic pitcher's duel between McGowan and Jodi Gonzales. McGowan may have been more overpowering with her blistering fast ball, but Gonzales was equally effective. She pitched all seven innings, striking out seven, walking two, and allowing only two hits in the loss. Wooster (7-0) scored its only run in the game after Jenny Lazzari scored on an error with two outs in the eighth.

That's how narrow the margin is between the two teams, who will meet for the third time next Tuesday in Reno.

Kaycee Wilcks, McGowan's cousin, went 3-for-6 in two games and robbed her of a hit in the first game with a superb defensive play in left field. Cheryl Nicoll went 2-for-3 in the first game and McCann and Valerie Smith both went 1-for-3 in the second game.

McGowan, who went 2-for-4 in the second game with two RBIs, figures to see the Tigers at least two more times, hinting at a possible match-up in Northern 4A regional championships. In McGowan's first two years at Wooster, the team went 81-9 with two consecutive state titles and finished the 2001 season ranked No. 16 in the USA Today poll. Now in her third year, the Colts are 52-1 in the Sierra League.

"It was a tough game, we had to play well," McGowan said. "We try to not let the pressure get to us, but every team is trying hard to beat you."


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