Douglas Tigers show power in playoff losses
May 13, 2017
Offensively speaking, the Douglas Tigers started out on the right foot Thursday at the Northern 4A Region Softball Tournament in Reno.
Just consider that of the Tigers' first six base hits, four went for home runs in their opening round contest against Bishop Manogue. It just wasn't enough to win, however, as the Miners rallied back from an early three-run deficit to pull out a 9-6 victory on their home field.
Douglas followed a similar pattern later in the afternoon in an elimination game against Spanish Springs, as Alyssa Smokey slammed a three-run homer to put the Tigers on top 5-0 in the second inning. Again, the Tigers were unable to maintain their momentum when Spanish Springs came back for an 11-6 win.
Douglas ended its season with a 12-23 overall record. The two losses came against two of the tournament's highest seeded teams — No. 2 Manogue and No. 3 Spanish Springs.
The Tigers hit four home runs against Manogue. Jasmine McNinch slugged a two-run shot in the second inning that gave the Tigers a 3-0 lead, while Kylie Swan, Bailey Walter and Casey Peck homered later in the game.
Douglas took a 1-0 lead in the first inning when Mackenzie Brixie doubled with one out and scored on Smokey's single up the middle. The Tigers added two more runs in the second when Kylie Swan was hit by a pitch and McNinch hit a one-out home run to left field.
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The Miners, who came into the tournament as the North's top scoring team with an 11.0-run per game average, answered with five runs in the bottom of the second inning. Two runs scored on an error, another run scored on a fielder's choice, then Chelie Senini and Kirsty Batastini delivered two-out RBI singles. Manogue extended its lead to 6-3 with another run in the third on Michaela King's two-out RBI single.
Swan and Walter smashed back-to-back home runs to left field in the fourth inning and Peck went the opposite way for a solo home run to left field on a two-strike pitch to tie the score 6-all in the fifth inning.
Manogue regained the lead, 7-6, in the bottom of the fifth when Alex Farrell was hit by a pitch, stole second base and scored on King's double to center field.
For McNinch, it was her seventh home run of the season. Walter and Smokey finished with four home runs.
Megan Lawson went 3-for-4 with one RBI and two runs scored to lead the Miners, who outhit Douglas, 15-7. The Tigers had seven different players contribute hits.
Douglas took a 5-0 lead in the second inning after Swan and Walter led off with singles and Smokey lined a three-run homer over the center field fence.
Spanish Springs answered with single runs in the second and third innings, then took the lead for good in the fourth when they scored six times.
Mirinda Nichols started in the pitcher's circle for the Cougars before freshman Tyra Clary came on in the second inning and worked out of a jam in which the Tigers had runners on first and second with one out. Clary allowed one run on seven hits over 5.1 innings to earn credit for the win.
Douglas missed an opportunity to extend their 5-2 lead in the fourth inning, only to leave runners stranded on second and third as Clary retired the side on a groundout. The Tigers scored once in the fifth inning on Brixey's RBI single and had the bases loaded before Clary retired the side. Douglas stranded 11 base runners in the game.
Peck hit 3-for-4 for the Tigers, while Walter went 2-for-3 and Brixey 2-for-4.
Amanda Hoffman pitched 3.1 innings before Bennett came on in relief in the fourth. Bennett was charged with the loss.
Ironically, the Tigers saw their 2016 season end on the same field with a 7-4 loss against Spanish Springs in a game that determined a berth in the region finals.