Douglas softball beats McGowan
MINDEN — After three years and two games of frustration, the Douglas High girls’ softball team finally got the best of Wooster and its ace pitcher Brianne McGowan.
Sophomore Jessie Kizer’s inside-the-park homer with two outs in the bottom of the fifth accounted for the game’s only run, and Katie Pagen pitched a two-hitter to lead the Tigers to a 1-0 win Tuesday afternoon.
“It was a good win,” Douglas coach Rick Smith said. “We needed it.
“It was more exciting for me to see the excitement on the faces of our seniors in finally beating her (McGowan).”
And, had it not been for Kizer’s hit, who knows how long the teams would have battled.
McGowan, who finished with a two-hitter, fanned 10, walked one and hit a batter. Pagen, who was tagged for two third-inning hits, retired the last 13 batters she faced.
McGowan fanned Ashley Arneson and Pagen to start the fifth. Up stepped Kizer, who had been struggling at the plate the past couple of games.
Kizer slammed a hard ground ball through the middle for what appeared to be a single. However, Jenny Lazzari was playing so far over to right field that she was unable to cut the ball off and it rolled all the way to the fence. Coach Smith waved Kizer home, and she easily beat the relay throw to the plate.
“I think it was an outside pitch,” Kizer said after the game. “I was pretty surprised she missed the ball (in center). I was pretty nervous. She’s a good pitcher.”
“Any other pitcher, I might have held Jessie up at third,” coach Smith said. “We’re facing the best pitcher in the state of Nevada, and we haven’t had many opportunities to get to her.”
After that, it was up to Pagen to stymie the Colts, and she was equal to the task. The Colts only hit one ball out of the infield in the sixth and seventh innings.
In fact, the only time the Colts came close to scoring was in the third.
Renee Fletcher doubled to deep right, and tried to stretch it into a triple. Arneson picked up the ball near the fence, and threw a strike to second baseman Devon Bateman. The Tiger senior threw another strike to third baseman Stevie Smith who applied the tag.
After Valerie Fritz flied out, Angela Picollo singled. Katie Stevens rolled back to Pagen to end the inning.
“I pitched better this game,” said Pagen, who lost 2-1 earlier this year to McGowan. “I had one bad inning the last game.”
This time she stayed in control and dominated Wooster’s hitters.
“We added another pitch,” Smith said, refusing to say what it was. “It’s something she’s always had, and we went to it 60 percent of the time today.”