The Douglas Royals softball team have opened the 2019 season on an incredible heater. After a 10-1 preseason, Douglas has gone 11-5 in conference play to open the season. The Royals won their first 6 games before a rough patch of games saw them go 1-5, but a four-game win streak seems to have Douglas back on track.
Last Friday's games against Highline College both ended 10-0 for the hosts, and Wednesday's visit to Pierce College saw them win a tight opening game 6-5 before blowing the doors off with a 12-4 victory in the second half of the doubleheader. Megan Hourihane and Jessica Podskalny split pitching duties in the morning game, with Podskalny throwing up a crucial zero in the seventh inning after Janessa Hanson's clutch go-ahead homer gave the Royals the lead. The second game wasn't particularly close, as the Royals followed up a four-run first inning with a 6-spot in the second punctuated by a Brooke Stoilen RBI triple.
Douglas has benefitted from phenomenal offence and dominant pitching. Podskalny leads the NWAC in wins and strikeouts to go along with a top 3 ERA, and the Royals are batting .394 as a team, good for 6th out of 26 teams in the conference. Defence has played a part too - opponents are batting just .292 against the Royals, the fourth-lowest average against in NWAC softball.
The Royals' run in will be tough but potentially rewarding, with series against all three of the teams currently above them in the standings. Bellevue, Edmonds and Olympic will provide challenges to the red-hot Douglas team, but winning those games could see the Royals shoot up the standings. Douglas also has games against Shoreline and Everett remaining on the schedule.
The Royals have a busy week ahead of them with six games in four days. Douglas visits Olympic College on Saturday and Shoreline College on Sunday before returning home to face 18-2 Bellevue on Tuesday.