Tiger softball is dialed in

Douglas leading most statistical categories in the Northern 5A through 24 games

Douglas High’s Mackenzie Willis winds to deal a pitch earlier this season at home. The senior is one of the top pitchers in Nevada with a 2.01 ERA through 58.2 innings pitched with 97 strikeouts.

Douglas High’s Mackenzie Willis winds to deal a pitch earlier this season at home. The senior is one of the top pitchers in Nevada with a 2.01 ERA through 58.2 innings pitched with 97 strikeouts.
Photo by Ron Harpin.

Douglas High School softball has won 13 games in a row and after 11 days off for spring break, the Tigers don’t appear to have any plans to give wins back to Northern 5A.

A 12-0 win in five innings over Damonte Ranch on Thursday means the Tigers haven’t lost a game since March 31.

Now 21-4, Douglas has outscored opponents 192 to 58 this season with only five of those wins coming in one-run games.

Undefeated in Class 5A North league play (10-0), the Tigers have dispatched seven of those opponents by run rule.

“The approach at the plate has been good. They’ve done a good job at swinging at good pitches and getting into hitter’s counts,” said coach John Glover.

(Douglas High shortstop Haley Wilkinson gets a hit earlier this season. Wilkinson has dominated during her junior season with a .449 batting average, six home runs, six doubles and three triples. / Ron Harpin)

Statistical leaders

You don’t have to wander very far through the Class 5A leaderboards to see where Douglas has been finding its success.

Talia Tretton leads the North in home runs after hitting her 10th of the season in Thursday’s win.

The Tigers have five other hitters in the top 10 in the league in home runs – Haley Wilkinson with six, Cam McClelland with five and Zora Simpson, Lilyann Lee and Bre Williams all have four.

Four of the top 10 hitters in the North, in terms of slugging percentage, wear the orange and black.

In the circle, it has been the duo Mackenzie Willis and Tretton who have carved up the North for the second season in a row.

Willis was lights out Thursday, striking out 10 while allowing two hits.

The senior UC Santa Barbara commit leads the North with a 2.01 earned run average after Thursday and is now 10-1.

Tretton, a junior, is 10-2 and flaunts a 2.19 ERA in 76.2 innings.

“I’m just trying to stay competitive in the zone,” said Tretton. “I’m super confident when I’m in there (the circle). Knowing who I am, I have that ability to get a job done and my defense behind me that can make great plays.”

Tretton and Willis have diced up offenses with a various pitch mix, but it’s the senior’s spin that provides a point of pride.

“My screwball and riseball were definitely working,” said Willis. “My spin. I have good spin and I have pretty good control of it.”

Willis will also incorporate a curveball and a changeup, but Thursday’s win saw the future Division I player change eye level plenty with the two-pitch mix.

(Talia Tretton delivers a pitch this season in Minden. Tretton has a top-three ERA in the Class 5A North (2.19) while leading the league in home runs with 10, including one she hit Thursday. / Ron Harpin)

Blasting bats

On any given day, the Tigers have seen masterful performances from nearly anywhere in their lineup.

Wilkinson needed one pitch to get Douglas on the board Thursday, launching the ball she saw over the left field fence.

As a lefty leadoff hitter, Wilkinson’s ability to drive the ball to the opposite field has helped her boost her batting average to .449.

The junior shortstop has the second highest slugging percentage on the team at .884 – behind only Tretton’s 1.000.

With 16 singles, six doubles, six homers and three triples, Wilkinson has proved to be a threat just about anywhere.

“I like to be really aggressive and try swinging first pitch,” said Wilkinson. “Most of my hits are oppo, which is what I try to do the most.”

Douglas has six hitters with a batting average over .440 through 24 games.

Eight Tigers have an on-base average of .426 or higher.

Sophomore centerfielder Maddie Gooch leads the team with a .470 average.

Dakota Till (.467) and Bre Williams (.455) have raised their batting average by over 100 points from last season.

Zora Simpson has also been mashing the ball with a .441 average and 22 RBIs.

Other players such as Annie Hill (.321) and Mercedes Covey (.318) have picked up some big hits when needed.

Sure, some of the Tigers success was to be expected after winning the Class 5A North title last spring and finishing as the state runner-up.

This season’s Northern regional tournament will be held May 11-13 at Carson High.

The state tournament will be played at Hixson Park at the University of Nevada, Reno from May 18 to May 20.


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