The Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé softball team took home a state title, beating out North Pole 16-4 in the final for the victory.
JDHS baseball also turned in a respectable third-place finish, with South Anchorage winning the state tournament.
“It went really well,” said softball coach Lexie Razor. “The girls hit really well and played good defense, and they came together as a team like you want at the end of the season.”
Successes in the softball tournament included beating Region V champions Ketchikan 13-12, who bested JDHS last week.
“Losing to Ketchikan in regionals was hard, but when we looked at the stats, we were still improving. We really focused on living in the moment and doing what we could right now,” Razor said. “The Ketchikan game was really close. It was close. We had a couple innings that looked a little chaotic. But because we were hitting so well we came out ahead.”
Warm weather at the tournament in Anchorage raised concerns, Razor said, but the girls played through, icing and keeping cool, the opposite of the problem they usually have.
“We got the win and that’s all that matters,” Razor said. “They’ve been putting in a lot of hard work and a lot of time. There was a lot of dedication and focus.”
Players Kiah Yadao, Mackenzie Jackson and Mariah Schauwecker were also named to the all-tournament team. The team celebrated with food, ice cream and dyeing one of the assistant coach’s hair red, Razor said.
“I think it’s been eight years since Juneau won a state championship for softball,” Razor said. “That’s a long dry spell.”
JDHS baseball came in third in the tournament in a series of competitive games, said coach Chad Bentz in a phone interview. JDHS began with a 3-0 win against Dimond before losing to eventual tournament champions South Anchorage in a tightly contested 11-7 game.
“Our Friday vs South Anchorage, that was a hard-fought game. Things just didn’t go our way,” Bentz said. “That happens sometimes in the game of baseball. I told the guys, that happens sometimes.”
JDHS beat out Eagle River on Saturday to place third, before South Anchorage took Colony apart, winning 19-0.
“You have to tip our caps to them,” Bentz said about South Anchorage. “They took advantage of our mistakes, that was what good teams do.”
The team went to play and brought their effort from all season all the way to the end, Bentz said.
“I was super proud of them. I still am,” Bentz said. “I’m super bummed that we didn’t get the outcome we wanted, but it can’t take away the hard work and dedication they put in all year.”
Two JDHS players were also chosen for the all-tournament team, Bentz said.
“Garret Bryant and Porter Nelson were voted into the all-tournament team,” Bentz said. “Both players definitely deserved that.”
• Contact reporter Michael S. Lockett at (757) 621-1197 or email@example.com.