The Juneau-Douglas High School girls softball team opened its season on a winning note by claiming a pair of victories Thursday night at Ketchikan High School.
The Crimson Bears edged Ketchikan 2-1, then beat Sitka 4-1 in a Region V game for the first games of a series that lasts through Saturday. The game against Ketchikan was not counted towards Region V standings.
Juneau plays Ketchikan in Region V games at 3:30 p.m. today and at 3:30 p.m. Saturday, plus Juneau plays a Region V game against Sitka at 2 p.m. on Saturday. Sitka and Ketchikan will also play each other in Region V games today and Saturday.
In Thursday's victory over the host Kings, Juneau had to hold off a late Ketchikan rally and didn't win until getting the final out in a rundown between third base and home plate.
Juneau opened the game with a run in the top of the first inning as Kari Parr walked, went to third on a bunt single by Krista Staveland, then Parr scored when Staveland tried to take second on the throw to third and got caught in a rundown between first and second.
The Crimson Bears made it 2-0 in the top of the fifth inning when Parr hit a two-out triple, then scored on a single by Staveland.
Ketchikan closed the gap to 2-1 in the bottom of the sixth inning as Angela Campbell singled, Kate Galloway grounded into a fielder's choice to erase Campbell, then Kelsey Jones singled to drive home Galloway.
In the bottom of the seventh inning, Samantha May hit a two-out double. The next batter hit a hard liner that Juneau's Julie Heard knocked down at second. Heard chased down the ball as May rounded third and tried to go home, then threw home to start the rundown that ended the game.
Rae Walker picked up the victory on the mound for Juneau, with Erika Lindsey picking up the save. Jones took the loss for Ketchikan.
In the second game, Juneau again took the lead early as the Crimson Bears scored a single run in the bottom of the first inning. Staveland singled with one out, then scored on an RBI double by Suzanne Parr.
Sitka tied the score in the top of the fourth inning when Sidney Wyman doubled, took third on an error and scored on a passed ball.
The Crimson Bears countered in the bottom of the fourth inning as Rachel Barril singled and stole second. One out later, Walker walked and stole second. Danielle Larson then knocked home Barril when Sitka pitcher Chloe DeLong mishandled Larson's hard shot up the middle. Heard then reached on an error at first that scored both Walker and Larson.
Ashley Larson picked up the victory on the mound for Juneau, with Lindsey picking up her second save of the night. DeLong took the loss for the Wolves.
"It was a little bit closer than I thought," Juneau coach Kari Monagle said. "Our pitchers did pretty good, they did pretty well with their control, and our batting was starting to come around at the end. It's early and the girls did a pretty good job."
Juneau returns several players from its team that was undefeated at 12-0 during the regular season last year, before going 4-2 and taking third place at the state tournament. Monagle said even though Juneau's been practicing for five weeks, the Crimson Bears have only had four practice sessions outside (three this week).
"We've got a nice mix of returning players, and we've got a strong freshman class," Monagle said. "There are things we need to work on, but the girls did a good job."
CRIMSON BEARS 2, KINGS 1
Thursday's game at Ketchikan
JUNEAU-DOUGLAS 100 010 0 -- 2 7 0
KETCHIKAN 000 001 0 -- 1 6 2
Juneau-Douglas -- Walker, Lindsey (5) and S. Parr. Ketchikan -- Jones and Ostrom. W -- Walker, 1-0. L -- Jones, 0-1. Sv -- Lindsey (1). 2B -- Juneau-Douglas 1 (D. Larson 1), Ketchikan 1 (May 1). 3B -- Juneau-Douglas 1 (K. Parr 1), Ketchikan 0. HR -- None.
CRIMSON BEARS 4, WOLVES 1
Thursday's game at Ketchikan
SITKA 000 100 -- 1 6 1
JUNEAU-DOUGLAS 100 30x -- 4 7 2
(game called in sixth inning due to time limit)
Sitka -- DeLong, unknown reliever (5) and Ozawa. Juneau-Douglas -- A. Larson, Lindsey (5) and S. Parr. W -- A. Larson, 1-0. L -- DeLong, 0-1. Sv -- Lindsey (2). 2B -- Juneau-Douglas 2 (S. Parr 1, A. Larson 1), Sitka 1 (Wyman 1). 3B -- None. HR -- None.