A three-run homer and some enterprising base running by Juneau-Douglas High School proved the difference in their 13-11 win over North Pole High School in the loser’s bracket final of the state tournament Saturday afternoon. The girls had to withstand two gutsy rallies by the Patriots to earn the right to play Thunder Mountain in the championship game later today (the 2 p.m. game start time has been pushed back).
JDHS went up 9-1 before North Pole rallied back to 9-8 with one inning to go. The Crimson Bears thought they had plunged the dagger by going up 13-8 in the final inning but North Pole rallied for three runs their last at bat.
JDHS stemmed the tide and closed the game 13-11.
JDHS opened scoring with four runs in the top of the second inning. After ceding an RBI double to the Patriots, the Crimson Bears added one run in the third and extended their lead in the fourth when Sami Good scored off a Morgan Balovich sacrifice fly and Amanda Bicknell hit a three-RBI homer to put the Crimson Bears up 9-1.
North Pole refused to let Bicknell’s shot put them down, however, rallying for four runs in the fourth and three in the sixth to come within one run of JDHS before the final inning.
The Crimson Bears loaded the bases and took advantage in the seventh, scoring four runs for the 13-8 cushion. North Pole attempted another rally with two outs in the bottom of the final inning, scoring off a steal home, a single to center field and a grounder to left field, but couldn’t find enough to send the game to extra innings.