DHS clips Galena, rips Carson | RecordCourier.com
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DHS clips Galena, rips Carson

by Chuck Smock

The Douglas softball team entered Thursday’s game with Carson having won three of its previous four games by a total of five runs.

So, when the Tigers jumped out to a 5-0 lead after two innings against the Senators, the mood in the Douglas dugout was understandably upbeat.

Douglas eventually led 7-0, before Carson made things interesting by scoring three runs in the top of the sixth inning. The Tigers slammed the door in the seventh, however, to seal the 7-3 victory and improve to 6-0 in Northern 4A Conference play.

Douglas coach Ken Carr said he was happy to see his team build a big lead early. He added that wasn’t truly comfortable until he saw Jodi Gonzales strike out Carson’s Talia Joyce to end the game.

“You can relax a little when you get a few runs, but you can’t ever really relax against Carson,” Carr said. “Any time Carson plays Douglas, it’s an emotional game. And any time there’s a lot of emotion in a game, anything can happen.

“Yeah, we were a few runs up, but we couldn’t relax against them.”

Gonzales went the distance for the Tigers. She struck out seven and allowed only four hits.

“It was nice to have a little cushion in there so if we did bad in one inning, we’d still have a lead,” Gonzales said. “Our defense was great today. We were really in this game. We really wanted to win it.”

Jeannette Holt got things going offensively in the first inning. She doubled to right center field and scored on a double off the bat of Hillary Moreira.

The Tigers added four more runs in the second. Cheryl Nicoll walked, Gonzales reached on an error and Ashley Coleman followed with a fielder’s choice that scored Nicoll. Allie Walling then ripped an opposite-field double to the gap in left center to bring home both Gonzales and Coleman. Walling eventually scored on a groundout by Holt.

Devon Bateman reached on an infield single in the fourth inning and scored on a single by Holt.

Moreira in the fifth inning and scored on a sacrifice bunt by Nicoll.

Carson scored two runs in the sixth on a double by designated hitter Lindsey Farnwood, who later scored on a sacrifice fly.

Gonzales, who gave up a single and a walk to start the sixth, was visibly upset after Farnwood’s two-RBI double.

“I was thinking, maybe I let my team down, but my defense was right there to back me up and got me out of the jam,” Gonzales said.

Holt made two nice catches in center field to end the sixth.

Walling, at second base, made a diving stop on a grounder up the middle for the first out of the seventh inning. First baseman Bateman charged a short pop fly for the second out before Gonzales struck out Joyce on three pitches to seal the victory.

“Jodi threw a real good game,” Carr said. “Her change was working real well and she finished strong. And our hitting was there tonight. We had some key hits and some good, solid base running. I was real proud of the girls.”

The Tigers got their biggest win of the young season on Tuesday, when they rallied for a 5-4 victory over Galena in eight innings.

Douglas scored one run in the first off Galena ace Jenn Molinari and appeared ready to make the slim margin stand up by keeping the Grizzlies off the scoreboard until the sixth inning. Holt singled, moved to second on a bunt by Tasha McCann and scored on a single by Moreira.

Galena took advantage of a single and two Douglas errors to scored three runs in its half of the sixth.

The Tigers responded with two run in their final at-bat to tie the game. McCann got to first on a fielder’s choice and scored on an error with one out and the bases-loaded. Moreira walked and scored the tying run on a single by Nicoll.

Tarrah Kizer started the game for the Tigers and went seven strong innings, striking out six and giving up three hits. She twisted her ankle running the bases in the bottom of the seventh, however, and had to leave the game.

Gonzales entered the game to pitch in the top of the eighth without having a chance to warm up. She gave up one run on two hits, but picked up the victory when the Tigers scored two runs in the bottom of the inning. And she used her bat to secure the victory.

Kristy Olsen led off the Tigers half of the eighth with a single. Walling followed with a single and both players moved up a base on a groundout to the right side by Holt.

McCann singled to center field to bring home Olsen and tie the game, 4-4.

After Moreira drew a four-pitch walk to load the bases, Gonzales stepped to the plate and collected the game-winning RBI with a single through the right side that scored Walling.

“They just had a refuse to lose attitude,” Carr said. “We had a lot of people step up. It’s was an all-around team effort. The kids played really hard. I’m just so proud of them.

“To beat a team the caliber of Galena, who is a contender every year, is huge, especially because they didn’t let themselves get down. They could have folded the tents, and last year we probably would have. Not this year. This year it’s a lot different team in the dugout. And that has a lot to do with it. They’re always up. The kids on the bench participated by watching the runners and cheering their teammates on. Everybody pulls for the team and that’s really good to see.”

The Tigers, who along with Reed and Wooster are the only undefeated teams in the Northern 4A Conference, will face a tough schedule next week, when they play five games in five days.

Douglas play at McQueen on Tuesday, will play host to Sparks on Thursday before traveling to South Tahoe on Friday and playing host to Reed in a doubleheader on Saturday.