The Douglas High softball felt they had the talent to advance to the NIAA/U.S. Bank State Championships. Their bats, though, had different plans in the game that would've gotten them there.
The Tigers only managed three hits, and only one that reached the outfield, as McQueen rallied behind pitcher Kate Ward in its 6-0 win in a Northern 4A Regional Tournament elimination game on Saturday at Carson High.
The Lancers lost 3-0 to the nationally-ranked Colts in the Northern 4A championship game later on Saturday. Ward went 3-for-3 with three RBIs and struck out six against Douglas. McQueen, which had lost to the Tigers 1-0 earlier this season, had 11 hits in the game.
"They outplayed us. They came out and swung the bats and came up with the big plays," Douglas coach Rick Smith said. "We've been struggling to score runs lately and they were just more ready to play."
Douglas scored only four runs in the zone tournament. But behind the pitching of Jodi Gonzales and Katie Pagen, it didn't matter. But against the Lancers, neither pitcher was a factor.
Gonzales, a first team all league pitcher, gave up five earned runs, including four in the third when the Lancers opened up a 5-0 lead. Pagen, the Sierra League's pitcher of the year, relieved Gonzales in the third and recorded five strikeouts the rest of the way. The Lancers even committed two errors but it didn't matter. Douglas just couldn't muster up any offense. The Tigers were looking for their first trip to the state tournament in two years.
"We knew what we had to do to get it done and didn't," Smith said. "We didn't swing the bats at all but you have to credit McQueen. Kate Ward pitched a great game, only giving up three hits. I'm proud of the girls."
Michon Jeanney went 3-for-4 and Sarah Hunt 2-for-3 with a double for the Lancers. Douglas finishes the season 27-11.
Northern 4A Championship
WOOSTER 3, MCQUEEN 0
Brianne McGowan struck out nine batters in the Colts shutout win over the Lancers. Both teams qualify for next week's NIAA/U.S. Bank 4A State Championships.
Wooster (37-2), ranked in the top 10 nationally, scored runs in the first, third and fourth innings in the game. McQueen (27-12) had runners on second and third in the seventh with only one out. But McGowan, the Sierra League player of the year, got Jamie Brant to ground out and struck out Jenny Drew to end the game.
The Colts will be going for their third consecutive state championship.