MINDEN — The game didn’t have an optimal start and the scoring came in unconventional ways, but the Douglas High School softball team took care of the most important statistic — the win column — in the first round of the NIAA Division I regional playoffs Tuesday afternoon.
Douglas defeated Reno 4-3, overcoming an early deficit to advance to the second round.
Kali Sargent pitched the Tigers to the win, striking out 11 and walking none while scattering five hits in the complete game effort.
Reno went up 3-0 in the first inning, all on unearned runs as Douglas committed two errors in the frame.
The Huskies then managed to put runners on second and third in the second inning before Sargent got out of the jam with a strikeout. From there, Sargent held the Huskies to just two more hits in the game.
“She just has ice in her veins,” Douglas coach Andy Mitchell said. “She is so good any time, but particularly in close games. She doesn’t show emotions out there, she never gets frustrated. She’s just a great pitcher.”
Offensively, Douglas managed to narrow the gap in the bottom of the third inning when Makayla Shaver led the off the inning with a walk. Maddie Parks grounded to the pitcher, whose throw to second bounced into center field. The error allowed Shaver to score and moved Parks to third. Katie Kluever then grounded out to second base, which brought Parks home, cutting the score to 4-2.
Until that inning, Douglas had not managed to get a runner on base.
“We started a little slow, but the kids just never gave up,” Mitchell said. “We started hitting the ball and we created some mistakes.”
The game turned in the fifth inning after Sargent singled with one out. Shaena Robinson came in as a courtesy runner for Sargent and moved to second on a single from Shaver. Parks grounded out, moving the runners to second and third, and Kluever drew a walk to load the bases and set up the game’s decisive play.
Freshman Allison Meyer belted a single into center field, which scored Robinson with the tying run. Mitchell, who coaches third base for Douglas, held Shaver up at third, but Kluever had made a wide turn around second and Meyer had made a wide turn around first. Reno had Kluever caught in a rundown, but Shaver managed to sneak home in the process to put Douglas ahead 4-3.
Douglas hosts Galena today at 4 p.m. in the second round of the playoffs.
Douglas falls 1-0 to Spanish Springs
RENO — Douglas High senior pitcher Nolan Weintz would probably be just fine if he never had to see Spanish Springs again.
Weintz was the hard-luck loser in 3-2 and 2-1 losses at Spanish Springs earlier this season. In the first round of the regional playoffs Tuesday afternoon, Weintz once again pitched a stellar game, but was on the wrong end of a 1-0 nail-biter against the Cougars at Wooster High School.
“He went 21 innings against Spanish Springs this year and gave up six runs,” Douglas coach Bruce Jacobsen said. “Spanish Springs is a great team, and he was outstanding against them each time. He’s thrown great for us all year and he turned it up a notch for the playoffs. He just threw fantastic, but we just aren’t going to win games when we don’t score. He deserved to win today.”
Douglas will travel to Reed at 4 p.m. today, in an elimination game.
“Now we’re in a situation of sending people home or get sent home,” Jacobsen said.
Spanish Springs got then game’s lone run when ace pitcher Nick Audenried led off the bottom of the fifth with a double and moved to third on a passed ball. The Cougars squeezed him across on the following play for the winning run.
“That was it,” Jacobsen said. “It’s a matter where we, as coaches, should have seen it coming and we were kicking ourselves afterward. Bottom line is Spanish Springs executed when they needed to.”
Audenried largely stumped the Tiger batters all afternoon, although Cody Carter made solid contact in his at-bats, singling a line drive off the pitcher that bounced back to the catcher, who threw Carter out.
Douglas’ best scoring opportunity came in the top of the when Dillon Lopez led off with a single. Cale Kynett followed with a double that bumped Lopez to third. Joe Almeida then belted a ball down the left field line that would have scored two runs, but landed two-feet foul. The Cougars were able to end the threat from there.
“Audenried is one of the top guys in the league and he showed that today,” Jacobsen said. “It’s a tough game to lose, especially on the first day of the playoffs. We just have to find ways to come through and execute in those clutch situations.”
CARSON SHUT OUT
SPARKS — Carson High was shut out in terms of advancing any individual golfers to next week’s state tournament at Sierra Sage.
Bishop Manogue won the event with a two-round team total of 767, a whopping 51 strokes ahead of second-place Reno (828) at Tuesday’s NIAA Championships at Red Hawk.
Dalton Butler followed up a first-round 86 with an 81 for a 167, six shots out of the money and in 14th place. Jake Jones (93-84) was at 177 and tied for 32nd place. Andy Cooper (90-88) was at 178 and 34th place. Nathan Swann (102-97) was 48th and Johnathon Porter (89-115) was at 204 and finished 51st.
“In many ways, a disappointing season, but we have a young team returning led by next year seniors Andy Cooper, Avery Whitt, and Jake Zumbro who all started playing well at the end of the season,” coach Jeff Rispin said.