The Juneau-Douglas High School softball team opened its road trip to Fairbanks with a pair of victories Wednesday night at the Interior Girls Softball Association fields.
The Crimson Bears beat the winless Delta Junction Huskies 10-1, then beat the previously unbeaten Lathrop Malemutes 6-3 in the nightcap.
"For coming in tired after a long trip, we played well," Juneau coach Dave Massey said. "We have to be up by 4:30 (a.m.) to catch the plane out of Juneau, and there's usually not a hotel room ready when we get here. We overcame that and did a good job."
The victories improved Juneau's record this season to 3-2. The defending state champion Crimson Bears will play at West Valley High School at 5 p.m. today, then will play at 7 p.m. against North Pole at the IGSA fields. The Crimson Bears complete their road trip on Friday with a 3 p.m. game at Eielson High School, followed by a 7 p.m. game against Monroe Catholic School at the IGSA fields.
In Wednesday's first game, freshman pitchers Hannah Barril and Torie Powers dominated play, combining on a one-hitter as they struck out 11 batters. Powers got the win in relief of Barril, who struck out seven hitters through three-plus innings.
Sophomore third baseman Ilea Belcourt hit an inside-the-park solo home run to highlight Juneau's four-run third inning, and freshman outfielder Alycia Cox hit an RBI double after fouling off a dozen pitches. Those were Juneau's only extra-base hits in the first game.
Belcourt, sophomore Ashley Larson and senior Danielle Larson scored three runs each to lead the Crimson Bears, while Danielle Larson had two RBIs, Cox and sophomore second baseman Melissa White had key RBIs. Sophomore catcher Nicole Bavard went 2-for-4 with an RBI. Delta Junction fell to 0-3 with the loss.
In the second game, Juneau broke a 2-2 tie with four runs in the top of the fifth inning. Powers hit an RBI single, Danielle Larson hit an RBI single and Bavard hit a two-run double for the big blows in the inning, with three of the runs scoring with two outs.
In the first inning, Powers tripled and scored on an RBI double by Powers. Jordan Johnston also doubled for Juneau. Ashley Larson pitched a complete game for Juneau, striking out seven batters and allowing three hits. Lathrop fell to 4-1 with the loss.
"Alycia had a nice running catch in right field, then she doubled off the runner in the fourth inning to save a run," Massey said. "Nicole threw out two runners at third base, one in each game, and Ilea played a good game at third base. We were a little more aggressive than we were in Sitka, but we're still expanding the strike zone and helping their pitchers too much."