Walter, Moore spark Tigers’ walk off wins
NORTHERN 4A STANDINGS
Reed 18-2 .900 -
Manogue 16-4 .800 2
Sp. Springs 16-4 .800 2
Damonte 13-7 .650 5
McQueen 12-8 .600 6
Reno 10-10 .500 8
Douglas 8-12 .400 10
Carson 8-12 .400 10
Galena 6-14 .300 12
Wooster 2-18 .100 16
No. Valleys 1-19 .050 17
Douglas 10-7, Carson 8-6
Reed 10-4, Spanish Springs 1-3
Damonte Ranch 12-10, Galena 2-0
McQueen 3-4, Reno 2-5
Bishop Manogue 10-11, Wooster 0-1
A pair of seventh inning rallies — both ignited by hitters in the lower third of the batting order — were the difference Saturday when the Douglas Tigers walked off with a Northern 4A softball doubleheader sweep against Carson.
First, sophomore Bailey Walter slugged her second home run of the game, a two-run shot in the bottom of the seventh inning that lifted Douglas to a 10-8 walk-off victory in game one. The second game saw more drama when freshman Kendal Moore homered to lead off the bottom of the seventh inning and then Kettja Bennett ended it with a two-run single as the Tigers rallied for a 7-6 playoff-clinching win.
Walter was hitting No. 7 and Moore No. 9 in the order. For Moore, who came up just as rain began to fall at mid-day, it was her first home run of the season.
Douglas (8-12 league, 10-21 overall) earned the tie-breaker advantage over the Senators and secured the No. 7 seed into the region tournament this week at Bishop Manogue High School in Reno. The Tigers open Thursday with a 2:30 p.m. game against No. 3 seed Manogue.
Amanda Hoffman pitched the final 2.2 innings of the opener and came back with a complete game performance in the second game to earn both wins. The junior right-hander came on in the opener to retire the side at the end of Carson’s six-run fifth inning and set down eight of the 10 batters she faced to end the game. She carried that momentum — aided by effective use of her offspeed pitches that kept the Senators off balance — into the second game as she allowed 11 hits (eight in the final two innings).
Douglas also received a key double play in game one at a time when the score was tied 8-all. After a leadoff single, Carson advanced the runner on a one-out sacrifice bunt. The Tigers picked the runner off second, however, as the play turned into an inning-ending 5-4-6 double play from Kylie Swan to Walter to Casey Peck.
Douglas scored twice to pull within 8-7 in the bottom of the fifth, sparked by Swan’s RBI double, and tied the score on Alyssa Smokey’s third home run of the season. In the seventh, Swan singled and scored on Walter’s home run to right field.
Earlier, Walter hit a two-out solo home run to right field as the Tigers took a 5-2 lead.
Game two saw the Senators score three runs, all after two outs, to take a 6-3 lead in the top of the seventh. Carson had the bases loaded, however, they were unable to do any further damage when Hoffman retired the side on a strikeout.
Douglas responded in the bottom half of the inning as Moore went the opposite way on a shot over the right field fence. Hoffman and Mackenzie Brixey reached base on back-to-back errors and Smokey loaded the bases on an infield hit. Peck got down 0-2 on the early count, fouled off two pitches and lined a single into left field to make it 6-5. Bennett ended the game when she hit a full-count single down the first base line to drive Brixey and Smokey home.
Peck hit 2-for-3 with a two-run single in the fifth inning that tied the score at 3-all, while Bennett and Smokey both hit 2-for-4. Deztiny Vaughan pitched the first 5.1 innings and allowed eight runs (two earned) for Douglas in the opener.
Note: The start of the doubleheader was moved to 9 a.m. in an attempt to finish ahead of the projected rain. The rain began to fall in the final five minutes of game two.