What started out to be a long night, turned into a pleasant evening for Juneau’s junior (13-14 year old) softball all-stars as they evened the best-of-five Alaska State Juniors All Star Softball Tournament with a 2-1 win over Nunaka Valley at Melvin Park on Wednesday night.
Juneau gave up a first inning home run to Nunaka Valley’s Taria Page that threatened to not return from the evening sky. Page is one of three Nunaka Valley players that were freshman on the East Anchorage High School softball team last season.
It is certain Page may not see another hittable ball in the strike zone the rest of the tourney.
Juneau pitchers Erica Maiquis, who pitched the first four innings, and Quincy Bates, who came on in the fifth, walked Page her remaining three trips to the plate. Juneau took a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the fifth inning as Ellie Gray hit a single to left, Maddie Johnson drew a walk and Maya Hayward sacrificed the two runners to second and third. Jordan Harris hit a line shot single past third base to score Gray. Maiquis then helped her own cause with a single scoring Hayward.
Bates got the Nunaka Valley side to ground out to first base before walking Page. A dangerous runner, page was gunned down stealing second by catcher Meranda Frenzel. The next batter flew out to Gray.
Maiquis struck out five and gave up two hits. Bates struck out three.
The series is now tied at one game apiece. Nunaka Valley jumped on Juneau in game one on Tuesday, winning 7-0. Another East High standout, Leilani Blair, singled in the first inning of that game and scored on an RBI single by Jacynne Augafa.
Blair doubled and scored on Morgan Hill’s single in the third inning. Hill scored in a rundown for a 3-0 advantage. Hill would double in the fifth and score on Page’s triple and Page scored on a sacrifice by Felila Manu. Nunaka Valley got their final two runs in the top of the seventh as Hill singled, Page walked and Manu hit a 2 RBI single. Game three is tonight at 7 p.m. at Melvin Park.