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Baseball, softball Bears’ title bids come up short

Posted: June 4, 2011 - 10:20pm
Juneau-Douglas' Justin Brooks was caught in a rundown and tagged out by South's Cal McKim on Thursday during the state baseball championships in Palmer. South's Conner Cucullu is at right.    Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News
Juneau-Douglas' Justin Brooks was caught in a rundown and tagged out by South's Cal McKim on Thursday during the state baseball championships in Palmer. South's Conner Cucullu is at right.

It wasn’t meant to be.

Juneau-Douglas’ bids for back-to-back softball and baseball state championships came up short over the weekend, with the both teams dropping their two games in their respective state tournaments.

The ASAA/First National Bank 2011 State Softball Championships is a double-elimination tourney, but the Bears dropped both of their games Friday, 6-3 to West Anchorage and 3-2 to East Anchorage.

Manager Dave Massey said the softball team, which generally has no trouble putting up runs, couldn’t its offense going.

“We couldn’t find our bats, and that was the difference,” he said. “I thought it was a year we could have won and I still think we’re the best team up here. I liked our chances and I think we had a good chance to win. I wouldn’t trade our girls for any of the teams up here.

“We just couldn’t seem to find a way to put the bat on the ball consistently,” he continued. “We hit too many fly balls and chased too many bad pitches. When one girl would hit, the next one wouldn’t. We didn’t make consistently good decisions at the plate.”

Massey said the team’s large senior class will be greatly missed, and the girls should be proud of what they accomplished during their careers, which is two state titles for the girls that played as freshmen.

“Absolutely (they have a lot to be proud of),” he said. “This was a great class and we had a great year. We’ll miss them a whole lot.”

The baseball team’s 8-3 loss to eventual champion South on Thursday meant the end of its title quest, and the Crimson Bears went on to lose 5-4 to Kodiak on Friday in the consolation round.

Manager Sheldon Winters said the Bears ran into a great pitcher in South ace Josh Crapps

Crapps gave up just five hits, all singles, and three runs against JDHS. He then went on to get the save for South in Friday’s win over Lathrop before pitching in the state championship game on Saturday.

“He pitched a heck of a game and South is peaking at the right time,” Winters said while watching the state championship game Saturday between South and Dimond as it went tied into the ninth inning. “They’re in the championship and this Crapps kid is just amazing. He pitched a full game against us, came in and saved the game in relief for them yesterday, and here is back out on the mound again.”

Winters said the team had a tremendous season, but the loss Thursday hurts.

“We talked after the game and, basically, we knew that it would take a while for the pain to subside,” he said. “But we had one larger goal than winning state and that was to have no regrets at the end of the season. I think we all agree we don’t have any regrets.

“We didn’t want to lose and look back and think we could have worked harder or spent more time in the batting cage or something like that, but we don’t. We have no regrets,” he continued. “Pretty soon, the pain of the loss will go away and these kids are going to have a lot of really good memories about a wonderful, wonderful season.”

Sitka repeats as small schools softball champ

It wasn’t all bad news for Southeast teams as Sitka rolled to an 8-0 win over Homer in the small schools softball state championship game.

Ketchikan picked up an 8-0 win over Monroe Catholic and a 10-5 win over Homer in the opening round, while Sitka beat Soldotna 10-2.

Sitka then edged Ketchikan 4-3, and Homer eliminated the Kings with a 12-8 win on Saturday before the Wolves cruised in the championship game. The Sitka baseball team fell 2-1 to Dimond on Thursday, and then defeated Soldotna 7-3 on Friday before winning the fourth-place game 7-6 over Kodiak.

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