It took a while for the Juneau-Douglas High School softball team's bats to warm up Sunday against Sitka at Melvin Park.
When they did, though, the Crimson Bears showed what their offense is capable of accomplishing.
JDHS scored nine runs in the fourth inning to beat a solid Sitka squad 10-3.
"I think it took us a little while to get warmed up," JDHS freshman center fielder Megan Hart said. "We kind of started slow but we came around."
The Bears hit a number of line drives in the first three innings, but the screaming ball found its way into a Sitka glove as the Wolves took a 2-1 lead.
In the fourth, however, the ball started to fall with JDHS. Hart started the rally with a two-run single, scoring Cortney Wagner and Rachel Peyton. Hart and Hannah Massey then came around on Carrie Laliberte's two-run double.
Brittany Fenumiai had a one-run single and Nicole Fenumiai hit a two-RBI double during the inning. JDHS also scored a pair of unearned runs in the fourth.
"It seems like every game we're starting from a hole," JDHS assistant coach Glen Alt said. "Sitka is a very good team and very well coached and has got some girls that can hit, but I was really confident with our girls. We knew if we could chip away and get one an inning, I felt we'd at least get a big inning."
Prior to the fourth, the Wolves looked poised and ready to pull the upset.
Sitka started hot as Mallory Kempton-Hein and Michaela Coleman led off with consecutive singles. Kempton-Hein came around to score on a double while Coleman scored on Caitlin Way's ground ball.
The Wolves' good fortune continued in the bottom half of the first. After Juneau loaded the bases with no outs, Sitka center fielder Nickelle Raschick snared Darby Brown's line drive and alertly doubled-up Nethia Lavering at second. Nicole Fenumiai then lined out to Raschick as Sitka escaped unscathed.
"That's huge because those girls can say, 'See, look what we did,'" Sitka coach Lesa Way said. "Every time they get that one more step better at their game, it's big for them."
JDHS (9-0) got one run back in the third as Brown sacrificed home Carrie Laliberte.
Brittany Fenumiai earned the win, striking out six batters while scattering six hits for JDHS. She also featured a slow-moving change up to go along with her powerful fastball. Her off-speed pitch delivered the final strike on two of six strikeouts.
"We're going to continue to work on it because it's a great pitch," Alt said.
Laliberte led Juneau's offense by going 2-3 with two runs scored. Cortney Wagner singled and scored twice, Peyton went 1-for-2 with a run scored while Massey, Megan Mauseth and Kalea Chapman added one run each.
For Sitka, Coleman went 2-for-3 with an RBI, Kori Lindstrom singled while Hillary Martin and Raschick each doubled. Raschick also scored a run.
Contact sports editor Tim Nichols at 523-2228 or firstname.lastname@example.org.