Douglas softball rallies to continue postseason run
The Douglas High softball team wasn’t going to panic after being down 3-0 against Reno High and facing elimination in the Northern 4A playoffs.
Douglas righted the ship and came back to beat the Huskies 6-4 on Thursday at Carson High. The Tigers came back to beat Reno after falling 3-2 to McQueen in the opening round in game it could have easily won if not for a share of bad breaks that went against Douglas. The Tigers continued play in the double elimination tournament with another elimination game at 2:30 p.m. Friday at CHS.
“They’ve played well all year,” Douglas coach John Glover said. “It’s a good group of girls. I knew we weren’t going to quit. We battled back. That was good to see.”
The Tigers rallied for five runs in the third to take a 5-3 lead. Haley Doughty doubled and Jasmine McNinch followed with an RBI single to bring Douglas to within 3-1.
Alyssa Smokey then singled and Kettja Bennett followed with a walk to load the bases. Ryleigh Blaire’s infield single brought home a run to bring Douglas to within 3-2. Bailey Walter then hit a three-double to give Douglas a 5-3 lead, with Blaire able to avoid the tag at the plate to score the fifth run.
In the fifth, Smokey doubled and Mehalia Pete followed with a single before Blaire hit an RBI sacrifice fly to give Douglas a 6-3 lead.
Another key moment came in the sixth when Reno had scored to pull to within 6-4 and still had runners at second and third with no outs.
But Deztiny Vaughan induced a comebacker and then struck out the next two batters to escape the jam. Vaughan struck out the last five batters she faced to end the game.
She finished her complete game effort with 14 strikouts and no walks for the win. “She stepped up in that situation,” Glover said. “That’s what we expect of her and she knows that.”
Smokey, Haley Doughty and Walter all had two hits for Douglas.
McQueen 3, Douglas 2
The Lancers hit a home run in the first to take a 1-0 lead off of Smokey, who ended up striking out the side in the first and was excellent for Douglas.
Smokey was the tough luck loser in her complete game effort, allowing just the one earned run while striking out 13 over 6 2/3 innings.
Douglas had a chance to at least tie the score in the fourth after McNinch led off with a double. Smokey followed with a single but was thrown out trying to advance to second.
With McNinch at third and one out, Bennett tried to score McNinch on a squeeze bunt but pitcher Makayla Webber was able to throw out McNinch at the plate.
Then the bad luck began for Douglas in the fifth when McQueen took a 2-0 lead on a dropped pop fly that went for an error that appeared to be foul but was ruled a fair ball.
There was more bad luck for Douglas in the sixth after McNinch singled, Smokey walked and Bennett hit an RBI double to bring Douglas within 2-1 and give the Tigers runners at second and third with one out.
Pete ended up hitting a line drive down the left field line that would have given Douglas the lead, but the ball landed just foul. Webber went on to strike out Pete in a hard fought battle and then induced a popup to end the inning.
Another bad break in the seventh. Walter led off with a single. Pinch-runner Eva McNinch went on to advance all the way to third on a passed ball when McQueen failed to cover third.
Vaughan then crushed a ball to left field which on any other day would have been a two-run home to give Douglas the lead. But the wind knocked it down and it ended up being an RBI sacrifice fly as McNinch scored to tie the game 2-2.
With two outs and no one on in the bottom of the seventh a throwing error gave McQueen a runner at second. Webber followed with the game-winning single.
Glover wouldn’t blame the loss on the bad breaks. “You make your breaks,” Glover said. “We didn’t take advantage of some situations we should have. You have to tip your hat to McQueen. I thought McQueen played really well. You can blame it on bad breaks. But you make your own breaks.”
Walter and McNinch each had two hits for Douglas.