Maranda Markovich struck out 12 City View batters and Kyra Jenkins hit an RBI double for the go-a-head run in the seventh inning as Juneau's Gastineau Channel Little League Majors softball All-Stars took their second game of the State Championship series 5-4.
"She was impressive, tremendous," Juneau manager Scott Balovich said of Markovich. "She was in command of all her pitches, she was hitting all her spots. It was a dazzling performance on the mound."
City View threw their ace pitcher, Jaya J., and kept Juneau pinned down but every inning the Gastineau Channel girls kept telling themselves to keep it close.
"I told the girls this morning that we needed to erase last night's game," Balovich said. "We took them by surprise. They were not the team that went undefeated up here. We knew they would come out with everything they had, and sure enough they came out and played a tremendous game against us. Their ace really had us pinned down."
Juneau trailed 2-0 heading into the bottom of the third inning. Markovich singled to right field to lead off and Skylar Hickok drew a walk. With two outs Markovich stole third and Hickok second, pressuring the City View pitcher who then gave up a 2 RBI double to Maxie Saceda-Hurt (2-3, 2 RBI, 2 RS). Morgan Balovich (1-3, 1 RBI) singled Saceda-Hurt to third and she scored on a passed ball for the lead.
City View regained the lead in the top of the fifth and held the 4-3 advantage until the bottom of the sixth inning.
Juneau's Saceda-Hurt singled to lead off GCLL's last chance and advanced to second on Balovich's sacrifice. Megan Dallas (1-3, 1 RBI) then brought her home with a triple to the center field fence to tie the score and force extra play.
Markovich struck out the first batter in the top of the seventh inning and got the next two hitters to hit ground balls to Abby Meiners at second and Rachel Macauley at third.
Markovich helped her own cause by leading off the bottom of the seventh with a single but was put out advancing to second.
Meiners (0-1, 1 RS, 1 BB) followed with a walk, and advanced to second and third on wild pitches and scored the game-winning run on a ground ball smash by Jenkins (1-2, 1 RBI) through to center field.
"Holy cow," Balovich said. "That was a tremendous, tremendous game right there. Our youngest player hits the winning run. It was just a great game to be a part of. Just exciting."
Markovich allowed 4 runs on 5 hits and 3 errors, while walking 3 batters, for the win.
Balovich praised the class of the City View team. Juneau has been treated royally while at the tourney and both squads mingled at a barbeque after the game.
"City View has been such tremendous and gracious hosts," Balovich said. "Both teams were mixing together and it was just a good time. It was pretty cool."
Juneau also beat City View 13-0 on Thursday and now is just one win away from the State Championship, leading the best-of-five series 2-0.
The two teams play again Saturday at 3:30 p.m.