Douglas sweeps softball doubleheader from South Tahoe |

Douglas sweeps softball doubleheader from South Tahoe

Steve Yingling, Tribune sports editor

South Tahoe got a jump on the Douglas Tigers on Tuesday in a Sierra Division softball game at The Field of Dreams.

Brittany Barcellos slid headfirst across home plate for a 1-0 lead in the first inning, but Douglas erupted for seven runs in the third inning en route to an 11-4 victory.

Stephanie Harper belted a three-run homer to straight-away center in the game-turning third inning, where the Tigers sent 11 batters to the plate. Mackenzie Cauley and Morgan Blomstrom smacked RBI doubles during the rally, which ended with Douglas in front 9-1.

“They played a good game. They made some defensive mistakes that hurt them and allowed us to get going,” said Douglas coach Andy Mitchell.

The Vikings didn’t allow the huge inning to shorten the game. South Tahoe fought back with two runs in its half of the third inning. Barcellos doubled to left and slid to the outside of the plate to score on Terra Backinger’s single to right. Backinger later scored on a wild pitch, making the score 9-3.

“The girls have really grown in that respect. They used not to think that way; not having the confidence that they are going to get up there and hit the ball,” said STHS coach Anneleise Neitling about her team’s ability to fight back. “They were trying really hard. We just want to win.”

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South Tahoe pitcher Melissa Smith regrouped after the Tigers’ pivotal third inning to retire seven of eight hitters at one point. She overcame five errors to pitch the distance and strike out five.

“We should play as a team, so if one of your teammates doesn’t get it, it’s OK,” Smith said of the miscues behind her.

Maddy Gilbert’s groundout in the fifth scored Brenna White with Douglas’ 10th run. Blomstrom knocked in her second run, plating Emily Weaver in the sixth for an 11-3 Douglas lead.

Douglas pitchers Stephanie Harper and Chelsea Fent kept the Vikings from putting together a big rally.

“Our pitchers did their jobs,” Mitchell said. “We don’t have overpowering pitchers, so we want them to throw strikes and keep people off the bases.”

South Tahoe (2-15) didn’t go quietly in the seventh as Smith led off with a triple and scored on a passed ball. With one out, Barcellos reached base on a bunt single ” her fourth hit of the afternoon.

“We definitely don’t like seeing her come up to the plate, that’s for sure,” Mitchell said.

Douglas escaped further damage when Ashley Killeen lined into a game-ending double play.

Barcellos finished with half of the Vikings’ eight hits and scored two runs. Killeen, Backinger, Smith and Tiffany Racz each contributed a hit. For Douglas, Blomstrom, White and Mia Townsell collected a pair of hits.

In game two, the Tigers parlayed six extra-base hits into a 13-1 five-inning victory.

The Tigers (12-4) moved ahead of Carson and Galena into sole possession of second place in the league standings. Manogue leads the division with a 12-3 mark.

Two Tigers’ pitchers limited the Vikings to three hits. Harper two-hit the Vikings over three innings, and Kalee Duryee gave up one hit in two innings.

Backinger led the Vikings with a triple, and Barcellos and Melissa Ewing each contributed a base hit. Moriah Lane scored the Vikings’ lone run in the second inning on a single by Ewing. Barcellos made two sliding catches in center field.

The teams conclude their three-game series Thursday in South Lake Tahoe.

“We really need to win the rest of the games,” Mitchell said. “We’ve painted ourselves into a corner, and now we’re relying on other teams.”