Douglas High softball

Douglas High softball wins the Class 5A North regional title

The Douglas High softball team poses with the Class 5A North regional championship plaque after defeating Spanish Springs, 7-6, Saturday at Bishop Manogue High School.

The Douglas High softball team poses with the Class 5A North regional championship plaque after defeating Spanish Springs, 7-6, Saturday at Bishop Manogue High School.
Photo by Ron Harpin.

 For the first time since 2004, Douglas High softball has won a regional championship in Northern Nevada.
It took everything the Tigers had Saturday behind a 7-6 final, in which Douglas used both of its pitchers and also hit two home runs.
It was a monumental moment for the seniors on the team, who complete their first full season since they were freshman.
“I am so happy. I am proud of everybody and the effort we put in. I am going to remember this for the rest of my life,” said Douglas High catcher Ryleigh Blaire.
“To win a regional championship, the level of how proud I am, is just exceeding everything,” added centerfielder Emma Stagliano.
Douglas was previously in the state tournament in 2018, but fell to Spanish Springs in the title game.
This year, the Tigers will be the top team hailing from the North and have now topped the MaxPreps rankings as the best team in the state.
Once Douglas gets to Las Vegas, it’ll take on Green Valley in the opening round Thursday at 4:30 p.m. at the College of Southern Nevada.
Regardless of outcome Thursday, the Tigers will get another contest Friday at Bishop Gorman High School in either the state semifinals or the consolation bracket.

Completing the title picture
Friday’s 2-1 win over the Cougars seemed like a distant memory as the two offenses combined for 13 runs Saturday afternoon.
Spanish Springs jumped out to a 4-2 lead in the fourth inning before the Tigers rallied behind several of its players.
Talia Tretton hit a solo home run in the bottom of the fifth and Bri Williams drove in the tying run, bringing Dakota Till to the dish with two runners aboard.
Till blasted a double into the gap, giving Douglas a 5-4 lead after five innings.

In the top of the sixth, Zora Simpson made a lunging backhanded snag at first base before stepping on the bag to record the final out of the inning.
The Cougars had a runner on second when Simpson made the defensive stop, likely sparing the Tigers’ 5-4 lead.
Simpson came to the plate in the bottom half of the sixth and pelted a two-run homer to left field, bringing the entire Douglas team spilling out of the dugout to home plate.
“I think it was an inside pitch and I saw it coming,” said Simpson. “I saw my team there ready to celebrate and it was a great experience.”
Simpson broke her ankle and a freshman and suffered a knee injury during her sophomore basketball campaign.
Due to the knee injury, Simpson missed the first 22 game of the year with the Tiger softball team.
“I went to PT (physical therapy) for a while,” said Simpson. “When I hurt my knee, I thought I was done. I went to PT and now I’m back.”
Her two-run homer in the sixth resulting in the game-winning run after the Cougars scored two runs in the seventh inning.
“She’s been our biggest supporter since she’s been sitting on the bucket,” said Blaire of Simpson.
“I think she bring a lot of positivity to the team and as a player, she’s so well-rounded. She’s going places,” added Stagliano.

(Douglas High's Zora Simpson trots home after hitting a two-run home run in the bottom of the sixth for the Tigers. Simpson ended as the game-winning run as the Tigers won their first softball regional championship since 2004. / Ron Harpin)

State outlook
Douglas last won the state softball tournament in 1992 back when the Tigers were in Class 3A. It was actually Douglas’ second state title in a row after winning their first in school history in 1991.
Having completed their season-long goal, the Tigers have a level of belief unmatched by nearly any team in the state.
With only four teams remaining, the plan is to hang a second banner inside of the Tigers’ home gymnasium.
“Win it,” shouted all four seniors at the same time.
Editor's note: Stay tuned to the Record-Courier early next week for an in-depth preview look at Douglas’ state tournament.


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