Douglas softball to face test at Reno
Coming off five games against California and Oregon opponents this past weekend at the 34th annual Napa Tournament, the Douglas High softball team now has its sights set on an important Northern 4A test on Saturday at Reno.
Douglas (5-1 conference, 10-4 overall) will face the Huskies in an 11 a.m. double header that is expected to figure prominently in the conference playoff race. Reno is 2-1 in conference and 4-7 overall, with six of those losses coming against California opposition.
“They’re always well coached and they always have great athletes at Reno High School,” Douglas coach John Glover said. “Samantha (Puzey) is a good coach so we know they will be prepared to play and they’re going to be competitive.”
Douglas went 2-2-1 at the Napa Tournament, capped by a 2-2 tie against Franklin (Elk Grove, Calif.) on Saturday afternoon. Casey Peck delivered a clutch RBI base hit in the bottom of the seventh inning to tie the score before the tournament’s time limit took effect.
The Tigers won on Friday, 11-1 against Taft (Lincoln City, Ore.), and 6-1 against Analy (Sebastopol, Calif.) on Saturday morning.
Both of their losses came on Friday against the eventual tournament finalists — 5-1 against Napa and 5-0 against East Nicolaus — teams that were finalists within their respective California division playoffs in 2017. Napa won the Sac-Joaquin Section Division II championship and East Nicolaus (enrollment of about 300 students in 2017) was the Northern Section Division V runner-up. The Napa Indians (5-1 overall) secured the championship of their own tournament on Saturday afternoon with an 8-2 victory over the East Nicolaus Spartans (15-2).
East Nicolaus includes two young players who have already given verbal commitments to play in the future for Division I college programs — junior center fielder Preslie Hewitt with the Nevada Wolf Pack and sophomore pitcher Avery Croxall with the University of Pacific.
“That’s the goal of going over to California, to see some solid teams and play against teams we normally don’t see,” Glover said. “Those are quality schools over there and hopefully that’s going to help prepare us for these league games.”
The coach went on to point out that every game for the rest of the season is going to be important.
“Every league game is a big game to us,” Glover said. “I’m not sure if any one is more important than another. At this point, we’re just trying to get as many wins as we can.”