R-C Notebook: A Cinderella story
May 15, 2007
Roaming the playing fields of Northern Nevada, I’ve come to find out that true upsets are pretty hard to come by.
There are those instances of a school knocking off a perennial favorite, but I’ve come to find that a lot of times, it turns out be a case of a smaller name capitalizing on a big name having an off year.
There was a time when a team with superior chemistry and the right mix of lesser parts could knock even the biggest super power on any given day.
In the growing age of year-round club squads and single-sport specialization, there is rarely a chance for a team to really gel during the short high school seasons. That situation is becoming less and less prevalent.
Friday afternoon was nothing short of a breath of fresh air. The Douglas softball team, losers of three games by a combined 50 runs to Sierra League champion Reno High earlier in the year, turned around and shocked the Huskies to advance to the regional semi-finals.
It wasn’t even just the fact that the Tigers pulled off the win, it was the fashion in which they did it.
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No one, and I mean no one, expected what played out in the seven innings on Field 2 at Carson.
The majority of the crowd at the tournament had drifted over to watch the Spanish Springs-Reed matchup on Field 1. Most everyone figured they already knew the outcome of Douglas-Reno.
One Douglas parent who I’ve come to know over the last several year was simply glad the Tigers had been able to eliminate Carson just prior to the Reno matchup.
“This is great,” he said. “All we were hoping for was to beat Carson. So what if we get 10-runned by Reno to end the year? No one expected us to get this far anyway.”
Three innings later, what a different situation it was. Riding the sturdy arm of sophomore hurler Stephanie Harper, the Tigers found themselves in a scoreless tie. Four innings after that, Donna Judd fielded a grounder and flipped it to Marina Diaz, sealing an improbable, if not remarkable win.
By that point, most of the crowd from the other field had drifted over, watching in amazement.
The Lady Tigers took it one further the next morning, coming from behind in the seventh inning to take a 6-5 win over Reed and its potent offense. The win propelled the Tigers into the regional championship, a game that many of the players probably hadn’t even planned on attending much less playing in.
What we got in the end was an incredible run from a team that returns nearly intact next season.
Hats off to the Lady Tigers. We’ll look forward to watching what they do over the next several years.
Apparently, there has been some concern about graduation have been moved apparently for good off of the football field and to the school’s practice field.
Trust me, this is for your benefit. Ask anyone who’s played on this type of artificial turf.
It’s a wonderful playing surface, but it’s not the best place to lounge in the summer heat, With the nearly two inches of black recycled tires acting of artificial dirt on the playing surface, it boosts the surface temperature significantly, making it very uncomfortable to sit around on.
Even though the reason the school made the move is to protect the turf from upwards of 4,000 people, they probably would have had to eventually make the move anyway to protect the health of the elderly attendees hoping to sit infield at the graduation ceremony.
With a 5:30 start time, it’s a fair bet it would still be pretty toasty outside, even without the black rubber surface.