Destin's Douglas smacks three-run walk off homer to secure win over Ruckel in season opener

Tina Harbuck
The Destin Log

With clouds hovering and light starting to dissipate, Destin’s Izzy Douglas blasted one over the centerfield fence for a walk off three-run homer and a 5-2 victory over the visiting Ruckel Rams of Niceville Wednesday afternoon in the Destin Marlins season opener.

“It was a meatball … right down the middle,” is how Douglas described the pitch she was served up. “I felt nothing. I thought I missed it." 

Destin's Izzy Douglas was all smiles as she rounded third base after smacking one over the centerfield fence against the Ruckel Rams in middle school softball. Douglas received a little encouragement from her coach Kati O'Brian as she came around third.

But needless to say, she didn’t miss it as it went sailing out of the park and onto the track around the football field for the first homer of the season for the Destin Middle School Marlins. 

Prior to Douglas stepping into the batter’s box, Destin’s Hannah Isham had reached on an error at first base that allowed her to make it around to third. Gretchen Kirby made it to first on a fielder’s choice. Then Douglas smacked the first pitch over the fence and the dugout cleared out to meet her at the plate for a celebration as the game was called due to darkness. 

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“Ain’t no better way to start the season than a defeat on Ruckel. We’re very excited,” said Destin Coach Kati O’Brian as she went to join her team in the huddle. 

“We had good pitching, good defense and our bats were on fire today,” O’Brian said. 

Destin's Izzy Douglas went the distance for the Marlins in their win over Ruckel. Douglas has eight strikeouts on the day.

The Lady Marlins had only one strikeout the entire game. 

“The girls put the bat on the ball, from start to finish. And a walk-off home run from our pitcher … who had probably her best game in the four years she’s been with me. She hit that ball beyond the track. It was gone,” O’Brian said. 

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Douglas was two-for-two at the plate, plus manned the pitching circle for the Marlins, striking out eight. Annabelle Shackelford also had a hit for the Marlins. 

Under a drizzle of rain the first three innings, Destin got on the board first in the second inning with two runs. 

Destin's Mykean Pope gets the out at first base for the Marlins. Destin beat Ruckel 5-2 in middle school action.

Ruckel picked up one run in the third and then tied the game in the top of the fifth. 

Destin put the game away in the bottom half on the homer from Douglas. 

“This was our first game of the year. We started off right … let's keep it rocking and rolling,” O’Brian said.