Douglas softball to face two big tests this week
March 19, 2017
A doubleheader sweep on Saturday against North Valleys gave the Douglas Tigers some momentum in the Northern 4A softball race. Now comes the real test, though, as they prepare to face three games in Sparks this week against perennial powers Spanish Springs and Reed.
Douglas (2-1 league, 3-7 overall) visits defending state champion Spanish Springs Thursday for a 3:45 p.m. game and then travels to four-time defending region tournament champion Reed for a double header on Saturday.
Kettja Bennett pitched six shutout innings and Mackenzie Brixey slammed a three-run home run in the third inning this past Saturday to help Douglas to a 6-1 win in game one at home against North Valleys. The Tigers came back to win the second game, 11-1.
"I think the girls are going to be ready for Spanish Springs on Thursday," Douglas coach Sam Torres said. "It was a positive coming out the way we did on Saturday and showing what we can do."
Spanish Springs (3-0 league, 6-2 overall) is riding an five-game win streak after sweeping a double header from Carson on Saturday, 12-2 and 11-1. Reed (5-2, 1-2), on the other hand, had a tough time Saturday when it dropped both ends of a double header at Bishop Manogue, 9-8 and 15-4 (six innings). Reed senior Julia Jensen, the returning region Player of the Year who has committed to the University of Nevada, only pitched in the first game.
"We're a really good team," Torres said. "Our goal is to peak at tournament time in May … I'm looking forward to seeing what happens."
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The Tigers had their share of highlights against North Valleys on Saturday:
Brixey broke up a scoreless duel in the third inning with her two-out home run over the center field fence to put the Tigers on track to a sweep of the Northern 4A conference double header. The home run was the fourth this season for the junior center fielder.
"Mackenzie is already having a breakout year," Torres said. "She's a leader on our team. She has great speed, she's hitting for power and her defense has been outstanding."
Bennett limited North Valleys (1-3) to one run on one hit with 10 strikeouts and two walks. The sophomore right-hander retired the side in order through four innings — one batter walked in the third inning, only to be thrown out on the bases — and saw her shutout bid end when the Panthers scored an unearned run in the seventh.
Chloie Pratt went 2-for-3. Kylie Swan, the only senior now on the team's roster, went 1-for-3 with a home run to lead off the fourth inning. And Bennett contributed an RBI double in the fifth inning.
Madison Nicholson pitched six innings for North Valleys, allowed five earned runs on six hits with two strikeouts and three walks. Hunter Whitton had the Panthers' only hit in the sixth inning.
Freshman Deztiny Vaughan pitched a three-hitter and Douglas scored 11 runs in five innings to win game two.
Amanda Hoffman doubled two runs home in the first inning to give the Tigers a lead they never relinquished in a game that was called in the fifth inning due to the 10-run rule.
Bennett, Swan and Pratt hit doubles for the Tigers during their game-breaking four-run fourth inning. Douglas finished the game with 14 hits
Vaughan pitched five innings, allowed one run on three hits to go with four strikeouts and no walks.