Juneau-Douglas swept West Valley in a two-game series Friday night at Melvin Park to open Railbelt Conference play, taking Game 1 by the score of 8-1 before hitting the mercy rule in the fifth inning of Game 2, 12-1.
The Bears held the Wolfpack to just three hits in the first game, and second-game starter Krista Barril no-hit West Valley - though two hitters were walked and two others via errors, with one unearned run crossing the plate - in five innings in the nightcap.
The Bears also went deep twice on the night, with Jennifer Nelson smashing a solo shot to straightaway center in Game 1, and Taylor Larson hitting a two-run homer to right-center in Game 2.
"It's a really good start to the conference season and we're happy with it," JDHS manager Dave Massey said. "The pitching did really well, and one of our strengths is our pitching staff, which is really solid.
"The long balls don't hurt, either. All our kids can hit the ball," he continued. "All the bats aren't going yet but they take turns having good nights, and it works as long as we have several girls having good nights each night."
The Bears jumped out of the gate quickly in the top of the first inning in the opener. Kalea Chapman started things off with an infield single, followed by a walk to Nelson, who was then out at second as Brittany Fenumiai reached on a fielder's choice, advancing Chapman.
Fenumiai and Chapman executed a double steal for the Bears' first run and Taylor Larson drew a walk, but Fenumiai was picked off at third for the second out.
Kaci Hansen stroked an infield single, and Gabbie Saldivar cleared the bases with a double to give JDHS a 3-0 lead after a half inning of play.
The Wolfpack went down in order in the bottom half of the inning, and Nelson hit a two-out solo bomb, the first of her prep career, deep over the fence in straightaway center field in the top of the second to give JDHS a 4-0 lead after two as West Valley again went down 1-2-3.
"It was my first home run ever. I've been working all year for that," Nelson beamed afterward. "I had one in Ketchikan and it was close, but it stayed in."
Nelson said the Bears played a near-perfect game.
"We hung in there and stayed solid the whole time," she said. "I really didn't see any faults."
West Valley got on the board with a run in the third after Erika Martin reached on a fielder's choice and went to second on a wild pitch before taking third on a sacrifice and then scoring on another wild pitch.
But the Bears were back at it in the top of the fourth.
Megan Mauseth smacked a standup, leadoff triple to center and scored on a passed ball. Haley Pusich blooped a single, followed by Chapman's second single of the day. Nelson scored Pusich with a sacrifice fly to center, and Fenumiai ripped an RBI double just under the glove of shortstop Katrina Lydon. Fenmiai scored on a double by Larson to give the Bears an 8-1 lead.
Fenumiai picked up the Game-1 win, giving up one run on one hit in four innings while striking out one and walking one.
Barril came on in relief, holding West Valley scoreless on two hits.
JDHS 12, West Valley 1
After a towering blast up into the trees that sailed just foul in Game 1, Larson didn't miss to start Game 2, jacking a first-pitch, two-run bomb over the fence in right-center to score herself and Fenumiai.
Larson said she was comfortable at the plate, having seen enough of West Valley starter Shiana Mclean, who pitched both games.
"Once you get more pitches, you get more of a feel for (the opposing pitcher). You can really see what her pitching was like," Larson said. "I could just tell it was gone as soon as I hit it.
"But I think we did really well as a team," she continued. "I though the infield played well and not many balls were hit to the outfield."
The Bears batted around in the fourth, putting up eight runs on four hits and three walks.
Chapman got things started with a leadoff triple and then scored after Nelson made it all the way to second on an error. Fenumiai singled and both runners scored when Larson reached via error. Larson stole second and Hansen drew a walk, followed by a Saldivar free pass to load the bases. Ashli Kikendall drove in Larson with a single and went to second as Hansen and Saldivar scored on a throwing error. Barril drew a walk and Megan Wright drove in Kikendall with a single.
The Wolfpack got on the board in the fifth with their only run after a walk and back-to-back Bear errors, and JDHS ended the game with two runs in the bottom of the inning.
Barril struck out two and walked two in her no-hitter behind the steady infield of the Bears, which recorded 11 outs on ground balls.
The win improved JDHS to 5-0 on the year. The Bears host Wasilla May 7-8 in nonconference action.
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