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Douglas Tigers softball heads to state

by Chuck Smock

The Douglas Tigers were down to their last three outs of the season when magic struck Friday at the Northern 4A Zone tournament in Sparks.

Facing elimination in a game against Reno, Douglas rallied for three runs in the top of the seventh inning to beat the Huskies, 3-2, and secure a berth in this week’s NIAA/U.S. Bank State tournament in Las Vegas.

Jennifer McCrosky had the big hit, a triple that scored Tarrah Kizer and Jodi Gonzales. Jeannette Holt followed with a single that brought McCrosky home with the winning run.

The Tigers were elated, but they weren’t content.

Douglas turned right around and played Reed in another loser-out game, just minutes after beating Reno.

Ken Carr’s squad again went into its final at-bat with the game’s outcome in question. Two runs later, the Tigers were assured of at least a third-place finish in the tournament they entered as the No. 6 seed.

Holt knocked in the game-winning run with a groundout in the top of the seventh against Reed and Baudelia Ceballos followed with an RBI double that gave the Tigers their final margin of victory, 3-1.

The back-to-back wins over Reno and Reed were made even sweeter for the Tigers by the fact that both teams had swept two games from DHS during the regular season.

“The adrenaline rush they got right at the end was pivotal,” Carr said of the win over Reno. “To go in there (against Reed) with that kind of energy and that kind of enthusiasm was key. It sure brought the kids to life.”

On Saturday, Galena beat Douglas, 8-1, to advance to the championship game against Wooster, which defeated the Grizzlies, 3-2, for the title.

The Tigers, who had every reason to be happy with their performance in the tournament, were – to a player – extremely upset after the loss to Galena. And that, Carr said, showed

“It wasn’t, ‘So what, we’re still going to Vegas,'” the coach said. “They were disappointed and that was a good sign. When they’re not satisfied with the status quo, it shows they’re maturing as ballplayers.”

The Tigers will open the state tournament on Wednesday with a 1 p.m. game against Centennial.

“We’re excited about Vegas,” Carr said. “We’re going with the same mindset that we went into zone. We’re going to The Show with the eight best teams in Nevada.”