Douglas High softball coach John Glover hugs his daughter, Emma, on senior night. The Tiger softball team fell in the Class 5A state championship to Green Valley, ending the season as the state runner-up.
Photo by Ron Harpin.
Douglas High softball needed one win against Green Valley to pick up the Class 5A state title.
Instead the Gators won the first contest, 5-0, forcing a winner-take-all game two.
In the second game, Douglas took a 2-0 lead before Green Valley responded with eight unanswered runs to win the state title.
The Tiger offense was held to 10 hits total between the two games and scored just the two runs.
A crooked number in one inning in each game worked out to be the difference.
"We didn't swing the bats real well today, but that's a credit to their pitcher," said Douglas High head coach John Glover. "She was phenomenal. She kept us off balance and she changed speeds. We played a really good team that was hot and I got out coached, for sure."
Ultimately, Douglas ends the year with a 30-8-1 record and its best finish since the 2018 season when the Tigers fell to Spanish Springs in the state championship game.
Glover thought nerves may have played a bit of a factor given the Tigers' had reached the pinnacle of their season.
By the end of the second game, the Tiger skipper said he just wanted to thank his seniors and relay a message to all the returners next year.
"The future is bright for Douglas softball. It's the goodbyes and a lot of tears," said Glover. "But, the underclassmen get another chance at this. ... I feel like it's the team that kind of put us back on the map."
Prior to the losses in the state title games, Douglas had won 20 of its last 21 games – losing just once since the end of March.
"It's been a great ride through the whole year. I'm just impressed with the youth. The sophomore class is so deep," said Glover. "It's a bright future for the program."
Douglas freshman Cam McClelland got her first start of her varsity career in game two and went 3-for-3 with an RBI.
Sophomore hurler Talia Tretton will return as will junior Mackenzie Willis, leaving the Tigers with a loaded pitching staff for next year.
Douglas will lose four everyday seniors from the lineup to graduation in catcher Ryleigh Blaire, shortstop Eva McNinch, center fielder Emma Stagliano and third baseman Emma Glover.
"Three of the four have been on the team since they were sophomores and the other is a four-year starter," said Glover. "I feel like they put Douglas softball at the top of the league. They are the group that led us in that direction."
Douglas ends the season with its first regional title since 2004 and will get to hang one banner in the gym at some point in the near future.