Tigers split 4A tourney games
Nevada Appeal News Service
RENO – First, there was the upset loss at the hands of McQueen to open the Northern 4A Regional tournament.
That was followed only minutes later by the news that the Douglas softball team would have to fight for survival against the defending regional champion Reed Raiders, who’d lost to Carson High in the first round.
At the end of the day, Lady Tigers lived to play another day, coming from behind to defeat the Raiders 8-7.
Douglas will face the loser of Spanish Springs-Damonte Ranch game at 2 p.m. today at Bishop Manogue.
“It’s a shame we had to play each other on the first day,” Douglas coach Andy Mitchell said. “You’ve got the second- and third-ranked teams in the north playing each other in a loser’s bracket game on Day 1. That’s why they don’t play the games on paper though.”
The Sierra League champion Tigers fell 5-4 to McQueen, the fourth seed out of the High Desert League, in the first game of the day.
Douglas never led in the game, but had a chance to win it with runners on first and third with two outs before a line drive to center ended the threat.
Carson followed through with an 8-5 upset win over Reed several minutes later on the adjacent field, setting up the elimination matchup with Reed.
“We were both in the same boat,” Mitchell said. “They were very disappointed to lose and we were disappointed.
“It was just a matter of who wanted it more. We just had to keep digging and stay in it.”
Reed scratched a run across in the top of the first inning and held onto the 1-0 lead through four innings before Douglas gained its first lead of the day.
Katrina Morgan and Morgan Blomstrom led the inning off with singles, Rebecca Trute sacrificed them to second and third and Brenna White singled to score Morgan.
Naomi Roberts followed with a single to bring home Blomstrom and Emily Weaver later delivered a bases-loaded single to score White, giving Douglas a 3-1 lead after four innings.
Reed retook the lead at 4-3 with a three-run fifth and extended it to 5-3 with another run in the sixth.
In the bottom of the sixth, the Tigers pulled out in front with a run-scoring single from Weaver and a two-run single from Blomstrom. White delivered a two-run single to put the Tigers up 8-5.
Reed brought two more runs across in the top of the seventh before Douglas pitcher Chelsea Fent shut the door by inducing a ground ball to White at second base.
“We’ve had some close games this year,” Mitchell said. “All that experience was bound to pay off at some point.
“There were times that they could’ve given up, but they kept at it. A lot of that is character and chemistry. They believe in themselves. They’re a close group, they know how to get the best out of each other. We’ve come from behind in a lot of games. They have that belief they can get it done.”
Weaver led the Tigers at the plate, going 4-for-4 while White went 3-for-4 and Blomstrom went 2-for-4. Maddy Gilbert, Morgan, Trute and Roberts each collected one hit.
Fent struck out three in picking up the win.
Against McQueen, Weaver doubled twice, Morgan drove in a pair of runs and Roberts and Blomstrom each had one RBI.