SPARKS - Douglas High School's amazing run through the Northern 4A Zone softball tournament came to an end on Saturday with an 8-1 loss to Galena at the Shadow Mountain Softball Complex, but the Tigers' season is far from over.
Douglas, which entered the zone tourney with the No. 6 seed, finished in third place and will open against the Southern 4A Zone's No. 2 seed in the NIAA/U.S. Bank State Championships, which begin Thursday in Las Vegas. Douglas last won a state championship in softball in 1992.
"On the first day of the season, we made it our goal to reach the state playoffs, and we came together to accomplish our goal," said Tiger coach Ken Carr. "I'm real proud of the team. The team came together at just the right time."
Galena's win over the Tigers advanced the Grizzlies into the zone championship against Wooster. Wooster won the zone title with a 3-2 win over the Grizzlies.
Douglas actually had a good day at the plate against Galena's No. 1 starter, Jen Molinari, as the Tigers pounded out seven hits. But Douglas was never able to get the key hit it needed to contend with the Grizzlies.
"We had runners in scoring position in five of the seven innings, but we could never put the hits together to get the runs across," Carr said.
A minor injury prevented freshman sensation Tarrah Kizer from starting for the Tigers, but Jodi Gonzales stepped in and limited the Grizzlies to just three runs in the game's first five innings. Kizer came in to pitch the final three innings for Douglas, but some untimely Tiger errors allowed Galena to break the game open with five runs in the fifth.
Allie Walling, Lindsey Rollins, Hillary Moreira, Gonzales, Jeannette Holt and Mika Carr all recorded hits for Douglas in the loss.
In the championship game, Wooster's Chelsea Crosby outdueled Galena's Monica Dietz to record the win for the Colts. The loss left Galena with second place in the tourney; the Grizzlies will play the Southern Zone's No. 3 seed on Thursday.
Galena's Teresa Miller was 3-for-4 at the plate for the Grizzlies and scored one of Galena's two runs. Tiffany Kristie scored Galena's other run.
The Wooster win extended the Colts' winning streak against Northern 4A Zone opponents to 28 games.