The script was written early in the Alaska State Juniors All Star Softball Tournament’s final game at Melvin Park.
With two outs in the top of the first inning it was obvious that Nunaka Valley had been saving a pitcher who could do a few things with the softball. Hannah Peterson wasn’t fast, but she had some junk. Juneau continued to play their never give in, never give up softball. With two outs, Erica Maiquis singled and Quincy Bates carefully eyed every pitch to draw a walk. Two outs and two on and Juneau threatening. Something the 13-14 year olds would do throughout the game and had done throughout the four-game series. Meranda Frenzel took a pitch, eyed another, fouled one off and sent the next one to a spot that should have scored some runs. Anchorage’s Nunaka Valley has a reputation as a strong fielding team and third baseman Leilani Blair crouched and lunged to her left to snare a hit headed for extra bases.
Valley would score two runs in their half of the inning. Taria Page was awarded the first of her four free passes on the night and scored on a bunt single from Morgan Hill that resulted in a series of plays. Hill would score on Jacynne Augafa’s single.
Juneau tied the game in the third. Maiquis drew a walk and Makayla Harp put the yellow ball over the left field fence for a 2 RBI shot. Valley came back for two runs in their half of the inning and another in the fourth. The Anchorage team tacked on two more in the fifth. Juneau put runners on the bases each inning, but Valley found a way to stop the plate crossing. Jordan Harris singled in the fourth, Frenzel in the fifth. In the seventh it appeared another comeback was forming. Harris singled and Maiquis drew a walk. A fly out to deep left. Bates singled to load the bases and Frenzel singled in Harris. A force out on the bases and a strike out by Peterson gave the state title to Nunaka Valley.
Incomplete statistics show Maiquis and Bates combined to pitch for five strikeouts and allowed seven walks. Harris went 2-4 with 1 runs scored, Frenzel was 2-4 with 1 RBI, Harp 1-4 with 2 RBI, Maiquis 1-4 with 2 walks, and Sophie Hultberg 1-4 with a walk. These statistics are not official. Nunaka Valley won the best-of-five series 7-0, 1-2, 6-5 and 7-3 and will play in the Western Regions, August 1-8.