Douglas softball comes back for sweep

Why not?

The Douglas High varsity softball team has found ways to win in just about every other imaginable situation this season.

Down four runs in the top of the seventh with one out at arch-rival Carson High in the final regular season game of the year?

Why not?

The Tigers managed to scrape together the four runs they needed to send the game into extra innings and then scored after Stevie Smith reached on a bases-loaded error in the top of the 11th to pick up a 6-5 win over the Senators and clinch a doubleheader sweep on the day.

"When it came down to the seventh inning and we needed four runs, we found a way to get them," Douglas head coach Todd Wilcks said. "Once we tied this thing, there was never a doubt. We never felt in jeopardy after that."

Before the Tigers tied things up, however, the game had belonged to the Senators.

Carson scored a run in the first and then broke out with three runs on four hits in the second.

Carson starter Mandy Carvin had the Tigers stumped through six innings, scattering seven hits and holding Douglas to one run entering the seventh.

"Mandy did a fabulous job," Wilcks said. "She kept us off-balance all day."

The bottom of the Tigers lineup started things off as Sam Willson walked and Missy Kaplan reached on a fielder's choice to open the frame.

Kaycee Wilcks singled and Kristy Olsen reached on an error, scoring Kaplan. Brittany Puzey then singled to score Wilcks, followed by a Kayla Dunn walk.

Val Smith came up with the big hit, singling to center and driving in Olsen and Puzey to tie up the game.

It was the second extra-inning nightcap game for the Tigers in as many weekends. Last weekend, Puzey surrendered a 2-run single in the 10th to take an 8-7 loss to the Wooster Colts.

But Puzey had different plans for this weekend.

"I was still kind of sour after the loss against Wooster," Puzey said. "I told myself that I wasn't going to lose this one. Before every pitch I told myself that I wasn't going to make that mistake.

"We were not going to lose this game, I was bound and determined not to let that happen."

And she didn't.

Puzey stuck out 17 and walked three through 11 innings, growing harder to hit as the game went on. She allowed 12 hits in total, half of which came in the first two innings.

"We're just glad to come away with a win," she said. "I didn't have my stuff going today and the team played awesome behind me.

"We had a lot of heart, I was really proud of everybody, it was really good to get a win here."

Coach Wilcks was hopeful that the intensity his team showed in the last several innings of the game will carry with them as they take a No. 1 seed in the Northern 4A Regional Tournament later this week.

"You can't just wait until the seventh inning to make your comebacks in the playoffs," Wilcks said. "From here on out, we just have to get it done, there's no other way around it."

Earlier in the day, the Tigers took the opener 16-7.

Kayla Dunn hit a three-run home run and had seven RBIs in the game going 2-for-2 at the plate.

Stevie Smith went 3-for-3 with four RBI and Jessie Kizer drove in two runs.

Kellei Kizer picked up the win on the mound, striking out six in a complete-game appearance.

Ariadne Gonzalez homered and drove in two runs to lead the Senators.


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