Anchorage, Alaska (KINY) - As easy as 1-2-3 Juneau-Douglas senior Mackenzie Jackson broke out of her hitting slump and ignited the Crimson Bears to a 15-4 win over Kodiak on Friday in the state softball championships at Anchorage’s Cartee Fields.
One home run, two runners on and three RBI.
“My first home run this season,” Jackson said. “It feels really good because I have had a bit of a slump this season and I feel like that boosted my confidence. This weekend has definitely been a hitting weekend for me and I have to thank my coaches for that. They helped me hit. They helped me calm down and I have a new batting swing. So that helps. Not chopping wood.”
The win puts the tournament undefeated Crimson Bears into a 10 a.m. semifinal against their Southeast rival, and also tourney undefeated, Ketchikan Kings.
The winner of that game is in the title match and will have to lose twice in a row. The loser of the 10 a.m. game has to battle against teams with chips on their shoulders in elimination contests.
Juneau-Douglas played like they had no weight on their shoulders at all on Friday as six runs appeared on the board in the first inning sparked by Jackson.
The Crimson Bears collected nine hits, 12 RBI and the 15 runs scored in the game.
Jackson led the way with four RBI and going two-for-two at the plate, scoring two runs and getting walked twice.
“It was a long time overdue,” Jackson said. “It definitely helped me relax and I got my energy up. The most important thing I think in the softball universe is good energy. Hyped up energy.”
Saelyr Hunt also had two hits, Mariah Schauwecker, Anna Dale, Kaia Smith and Gloria Bixby stroked one hit each.
Hunt score three runs, Schauwecker, Dale, Smith and Tristan Oliva scored twice.
Hunt, Schauwecker, Dale and Smith had two RBI each.
Yadao was walked twice, Schauwecker, Smith and Zoey Billings one time each.
“I thought they did a good job hitting,” Juneau-Douglas coach Lexi Razor said of her Crimson Bears. “We had to adjust to a slower pitcher then a faster pitcher and then some issues with the umpire calling some pitching issues but the girls handled it well and they kept hitting and battling which was good to see. I think our girls did really well. Kia Yadao has been doing really well this weekend on the mound and she started us off really strong which is nice to see. She’s handling it well as a freshman pitcher.”
Yadao went three innings and allowed just one hit, struck out two and hitters and walked one.
Schauwecker relieved for two innings and allowed just two hits and one run, struck out three and walked one. Mila Hargrave and Gloria Bixby also made brief mound appearances.
The Crimson Bears play Ketchikan at 10 a.m. on Saturday.
Both teams are undefeated.
The winner advances to the 2:45 p.m. championship game. The loser plays in an elimination game at 12:15 p.m. against the winner of a 10 a.m. elimination contest between Delta Junction and North Pole, for the chance to play in the 2:45 contest.
“We are looking forward to playing hard softball,” Razor said.
Above - Juneau-Douglas sophomore Mariah Schauwecker makes an acrobatic catch during Friday's win over Kodiak in the state softball championships at Anchorage's Cartee Fields. (Klas Stolpe / KINY)