Huskies softball sweeps Tigers
BY JOEY CRANDALL
Nevada Appeal News Service
MINDEN - Through the first three innings Saturday afternoon, the Douglas-Reno softball matchup was shaping up to be a classic pitcher's duel between the Tigers' Stephanie Harper and the Huskies' Ashley Rahming.
The two combined to retire the first 18 batters of the game in order.
Then, much as they did throughout the rest of the three-game series, the Reno bats came alive.
The Huskies pounded out five hits in the top of the fourth and hung six runs on the board on their way to a 12-1 win, completing a doubleheader sweep.
Earlier in the day, Reno topped the Tigers 13-0. The Huskies also claimed the season series, having beaten the Tigers 10-4 in Reno Thursday.
"We knew Reno would be tough," Douglas coach Andy Mitchell said. "They have two really strong pitchers and they pretty much dominated us both days.
"We didn't generate a lot of offense and they played great defense. They just didn't make mistakes."
With the way the second game went Saturday, it appeared the Tigers were about to reverse that trend.
Harper sat the first nine batters she saw down, bolstered by three strikeouts.
It was a far cry from the beginning of the first game, when she surrendered six runs, including a grand slam to Reno's Samantha Baker, in the first inning alone.
"I think Stephanie came out and tried to stay more aggressive, stay away from the corners and get ahead of batters in the count," Mitchell said. "She got off to a great start."
And outside of that fourth inning and a tough seventh, it was a strong outing.
She finished with five strikeouts and held the Huskies to one hit in the fifth and the sixth.
Reno had a six-run seventh, however, to put the game well out of reach.
Douglas catcher Katrina Morgan contributed the Tigers' only run on the day on a two-out homer over the center-field fence.
Reno got home runs from Baker, Missy Cates and Nikki Rahming in the game while Baker finished with an impressive 11 RBI on the day.
Rahming stayed perfect through the first 14 batters of the game but Mackenzie Cauley broke things up with a single to left with two outs in the fifth. Unfortunately for the Tigers, Cauley was thrown out attempting to take second, ending the inning.
Rahming finished with seven strikeouts, no walks and three hits allowed.
"It was good for our girls to see a strong team like that," Mitchell said. "It's a wake-up call. We just have to get back to it and work on hitting the ball harder."
In the first game, Douglas got several hitless innings of relief from senior Dorothy Sliva and Harper led the team by going 2-for-2 at the plate.
It was all about the Reno offense and the Huskies' pitching again as Baker pitched a four-hit complete-game shutout and went 4-four-4 from the plate with eight RBI.
Samantha Puzey went 2-for-3 in the game with three RBI for Reno.
Douglas dropped to 9-5 overall and 3-3 in league.