Softball faces Utah, Arizona, powers
March 10, 2017
Top-level competition was the primary objective for the Douglas High softball team in opening its season at the 21st annual Dave Kops Tournament of Champions in Bullhead City, Ariz.
The Tigers saw plenty of that on Thursday and came away with one win in three games on the first day of a tournament that is showcasing no less than 10 teams with national rankings at Mohave High School. They opened in the morning with a 7-0 win against Greenway (Phoenix, Ariz.), then lost 9-0 against Hamilton (Chandler, Ariz.) and 8-3 against West (Salt Lake City).
Hamilton, ranked No. 9 nationally by MaxPreps and FloSoftball, is the defending Arizona Division 1 state champion. West was the Utah 5A state runner-up in 2016.
Amanda Hoffman pitched a four-hit shutout to defeat a Greenway team that went 18-10 last year. Mackenzie Brixey homered with one out in the first inning for a 1-0 lead. Kettja Bennett, Kylie Swan and Chloie Pratt connected for successive singles in the first inning as the Tigers went up, 3-0.
Hoffman pitched five innings, striking out seven and walking one. She worked out of a bases loaded jam in the first inning and only allowed three base runners over the last four innings.
Next up, Hamilton slammed two home runs and Abby Andersen pitched two-hit ball against the Tigers. Taylor Gindlesperger, an all-state selection last year, homered in the first inning. The Huskies added four more runs in the fourth inning, sparked by a home run from Bella Loomis, an Arizona State University signee.
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Andersen retired nine straight batters to start the game before Casey Peck singled to lead off the fourth. Bennett walked and Swan singled to load the bases, however, Andersen retired the side on an infield fly ball.
In their final game of the day, Douglas took a 2-1 lead in the home half of the first inning against the West Panthers. Peck drew a leadoff walk, advanced to third on Brixey's single and scored on an error. Brixey scored on a sacrifice fly by Corryne Diaz.
West rallied back behind sisters Breah Ava and Huntyr Ava. Breah, who has signed to play softball at BYU, hit 2-for-4 with three RBI. And Huntyr, a sophomore, went 3-for-4 with a home run and five RBI. The sisters combined to hit 25 home runs during the 2016 season.
Brixey hit 1-for-3 and Pratt 1-for-2 with a double and one RBI for the Tigers.
The tournament continues through Saturday.
Palo Verde 17, Douglas 2
Douglas lost on Friday afternoon against Palo Verde (Las Vegas) in a game called after four innings.
Makall Whetten homered to lead off the game and Richmond Garcia also homered in the first inning as Palo Verde took a 7-0 lead. Ally Snelling had three hits, with a home run and two doubles, while Grace Chavez went 4-for-4 with five RBI for the Panthers.
Palo Verde's Makena Martin pitched the four-inning distance to earn credit for the win.
Casey Peck tripled to lead off the home half of the first inning and scored on Brixey's ground out. Brixey hit a home run to lead off the Tigers' third inning.
La Mirada 5, Douglas 3
Douglas bounced back from its lopsided loss and battled La Mirada, Calif. down to the wire before losing, 5-3. The Tigers enjoyed a 10-8 advantage in the hits column.
La Mirada took the lead for good with two runs in the fourth inning.
Alyssa Ramirez pitched the distance to win for the Matadores.
Bennett pitched six innings, allowed three earned runs on eight hits with two strikeouts and no walks.
Peck hit 2-for-4 with two runs scored, Diaz was 2-for-3 with two RBI and Swan was 2-for-3 to lead the Tigers offensively. Brixey hit her second home run of the day, a solo shot in the third inning that gave Douglas a 2-1 lead.
The Tigers rallied with two outs in the seventh when Peck singled and Brixey walked, however, Ramirez closed out the game on a ground ball fielder's choice.