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The Juneau-Douglas High School girls softball team needed a pair of blocks of the plate by catcher Suzanne Parr on Saturday to preserve a perfect opening to the Crimson Bears' season.
Parr blocked the plate in the first inning to save a run when Ketchikan's Aliesha Filyaw tried to break a scoreless tie, then Parr's block in the seventh inning when Jessie Johnson tried to score on an overthrow of third base preserved a 2-1 victory over the Kings.
That victory gave the Juneau varsity softball team a perfect 4-0 record in official games, 5-0 if the results of a practice game are included, held over the weekend at Ketchikan High School's Upper Dudley Field.
Besides Saturday's victory over Ketchikan, Juneau beat Sitka 3-1 on Saturday. On Friday, Juneau blanked Ketchikan 10-0 and edged Sitka 3-2. In a practice game on Thursday, Juneau beat Ketchikan 5-0.
"Overall the girls did really well," Juneau coach Kari Monagle said. "We had excellent pitching. The girls (Juneau used three pitchers) struck out 10 batters against Ketchikan on the first night. And for the weekend our pitchers had 35 strikeouts, seven bases on balls, 16 hits and only four runs allowed. We had 38 hits and scored 22 runs."
In Saturday's victory over Ketchikan, Nicole Adair took a no-hitter into the sixth inning for Juneau before giving up three Ketchikan hits and the lone Ketchikan run. Johnson's out at home was the final out of the game. Juneau's Julie Heard scored on an RBI by Krista Staveland in the third inning and Danielle Larson scored on an RBI by Jenny Ahlgren in the fourth. Rachel Barril hit a triple for Juneau.
In Saturday's victory over Sitka, Adair hit a two-run, two-out single in the first inning to lead the Crimson Bears. Larson hit a double and scored in the seventh inning, while Hilary Turner went 2-for-3 for Juneau.
In Friday's 10-0 victory over Ketchikan, Turner hit a two-run double to highlight a five-run first inning, then she hit a three-run opposite-field home run over a 10-foot-high fence in the fourth inning to finish the game with five RBIs and two runs scored. Ahlgren and Rae Walker also drove in runs for Juneau, while Turner, Suzanne Parr and Kari Parr scored two run each. Larson was a perfect 3-for-3 from the plate and Walker went 2-for-2, while Kari Parr and Turner both went 2-for-3.
Juneau needed a tie-breaker in the seventh inning to beat Sitka in Friday's other game. With the time-limit expired, each team batted in the seventh inning with runners on second base. Sitka couldn't knock its runner in, and Kari Parr's bunt single plated Julie Heard with the winning run for Juneau. Stephanie Heard started for Juneau on the mound and went five innings, and Walker closed out the game and picked up the win in relief. Suzanne Parr hit a double for Juneau.
In the practice game on Thursday, Juneau scored single runs in the first two innings then scored three more in the seventh inning to clinch the victory as the Crimson Bears beat former teammate Tara Potts, who is now pitching for Ketchikan. Krista Staveland and Barril both hit doubles for Juneau, while Larson went 2-for-3 (7-for-15 for the weekend). Juneau used three pitchers -- Adair, Barril and Stephanie Heard -- who combined to strike out 10 Kings and allowed just four hits.
The Crimson Bears will travel to Sitka this coming weekend, with varsity games scheduled against Ketchikan and Sitka on Friday and Saturday.