Softball Bears win Railbelt Conference crown

The Juneau-Douglas softball team finished its five-day, 10-game road trip with a 9-1 record, earning the Railbelt Conference championship in the process.


The defending state champions are now 19-1-1 on the season.

JDHS finished its road swing Saturday with wins over West Valley, topping the Wolfpack 6-1 and 9-7.

The Bears scored four in the third inning and two in the fourth to put West Valley away in Game 1.

Ashli Kikendall picked up the win after giving up a run on two hits in three innings, striking out five and walking five.

Malin Murray held West Valley to a hit in one inning in relief, and she also went 2-for-2 at the plate with a home run and two RBIs.

Jennifer Nelson went 2-for-3 with two RBIs, and Kaci Hansen added two RBIs.

The Bears took a 9-1 lead in the second game after scoring four in the first and five in the third.

Megan Mauseth went 2-for-3 with two RBIs, Hansen was 3-for-3 with a home run, a double and two RBIs, and Murray was 2-for-2 with a double and an RBI.

Murray also got the win after giving up an unearned run, striking out three and walking none in three innings.

JDHS suffered its first loss of the season Friday, falling 2-1 to Lathrop in the opener of a doubleheader.

The Malemutes scored a run in the fourth and sixth innings, and the Bears plated their lone run in the fourth when Hansen scored on a double by Murray.

Nelson took the loss after giving up just five hits and two runs, with seven strikeouts and no walks.

The Bears avenged the loss and won the conference with a 3-1 victory in the nightcap.

Hansen belted what proved to be the game-winning home run in the third inning, and Kikendall scored on a double in the fourth by Mauseth to secure the conference crown.

The criteria switches to run differential if the teams split a head-to-head matchup, so the Bears ended up plus-one over the second-place Malemutes.

Kikendall also picked up the win, giving up a run on three hits in four innings, striking out four and walking two.

On Thursday, the Bears eked out a 3-2 win in the opener of a doubleheader with Colony after Taylor Larson smacked a game-winning RBI single to score Mauseth in the seventh inning.

The Knights scored two runs in the first, and JDHS plated scores in the first, fifth and seventh innings.

Nelson picked up the win with a complete-game three-hitter, giving up just the two runs while striking out six and walking none.

Nelson also went 2-for-4 at the plate with a home run and two runs scored.

Larson finished 2-for-4 with two RBIs.

But that was just the appetizer for the Crimson Bears’ senior slugger, who belted three home runs in the nightcap in a 13-1, four-inning JDHS win.

Larson went 4-for-4 with three homers and eight RBIs in one of the best plate performances in school history.

Kikendall picked up the win for JDHS, pitching four innings and giving just one hit, a home run in the fourth inning for the Knights’ lone score. Kikendall struck out five hitters and walked none.

On Wednesday, JDHS rolled to 12-0 and 9-0 wins over Wasilla, both in four innings.

In the opener, Nelson went 2-for-3 with three RBIs and a double, Larson was 2-for-3 with an RBI and a triple, Hansen had a double, and Haley Pusich had two hits and scored two runs.

Nelson and Kikendall each pitched two innings, both giving up one hit. Nelson struck out four and Kikendall six.

In the nightcap, Murray went 2-for-3 with two RBIs and two runs scored, and Gabi Saldivar was 2-for-3 with two runs scored.

Kayla Balovich pitched two innings of no-hit softball, striking out four and walking none.

Murray also pitched two innings, giving up a hit and striking out four.

The Bears swept Soldotna in two games on Tuesday, winning 8-2 and 5-2.



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