Juneau’s Gastineau Channel Little League Majors All-Stars are heading to the Western Regional Tournament in San Bernardino, California after demolishing Anchorage’s City View All-Stars 30-0 in the State Championship game on Saturday night in Anchorage.
Juneau swept the best-of-five series by winning three straight.
“We just really pounded the ball,” Juneau manager Scott Balovich said. “Just hit it very well and we had tremendous defense. Leah (Spargo) was just really moving the ball around on the mound and she is really hard to hit when she is on.”
Pitcher Leah Spargo collected her second win in three days on Saturday, striking out five batters in the mercy-rule shortened game, while allowing just one batter to reach first base as she threw just 38 pitches, 30 for strikes.
“I feel like we accomplished a very good thing,” Spargo said. “We all put in a lot of effort in the game and showed the other team what we could do. I was expecting them to hit a lot more but that was fine with me that they were not getting to my pitches.”
It was a wonder Spargo had any strength to throw a baseball as the batting cycle of the Gastineau girls produced 30 runs in just three innings on 20 hits, 7 walks, 23 RBI and just 1 strikeout.
Maranda Markovich went 3-3 (6 RBI, 3 Runs Scored), Rachel Macauley 3-5 (5 RBI, 2 RS, 1 BB), Peyton Harp 3-4 (2 RBI, 5 RS, 1 BB), Spargo 2-3 (2 RBI, 5 RS, 2 BB), Megan Dallas 3-5 (2 RBI, 4 RS), Maxie Seceda-Hurt 1-5 (2 RBI, 3 RS), Skylar Hickok 1-2 (2 RBI), Morgan Balovich 3-5 (1 RBI, 2 RS), Kyra Jenkins 1-2 (2 RS), Abby Meiners 0-0 (1 RS, 2 BB), Mia Loree 0-3 (1 RBI, 1 RS), and Nina Fenumiai 0-2 (2 RS, 1 BB).
Juneau put 6 runs across the plate in the bottom of the first inning, 13 runs in the second and 11 in the third.
The 10-run mercy rule was put into play in the second inning. Balovich, Harp and Spargo reached on hits. Markovich singled in Harp and Spargo scored on a fielding throw. Jenkins doubled, Meiners walked, and Macauley singled in a run with Jenkins following on play action. Seceda-Hurt reached on an error and Meiners scored for an 11-0 advantage.
Balovich singled again scoring Macauley, Dallas reached on a dropped third strike and Seceda-Hurt scored on the action. Harp walked and Spargo singled to score Balovich while Dallas scored in the action. Markovich doubled scoring Harp and Spargo and Fenumiai reached on error with Markovich scoring on the play for an 18-0 advantage. Juneau would have to bat one more time as four innings are required in the 10-run rule.
“Everybody contributed in this last game,” Balovich said. “They did not even notice the score, they just put their heads down and kept playing. The girls are ecstatic and they should be. They earned it. I imagine in a couple days it will sink in and they will start to think about a nother level of play at Western Regionals and they will want to represent the State of Alaska well there.”
The Gastineau girls will now play in the Western Regional tournament at San Bernardino, California, July 19-25. The winner of that tourney advances to the World Series in Portland, Oregon, August 8-14.
“We appreciate all the support from Juneau,” Spargo said. “We would really like to make it to the World Series. We will be trying to do really good at the regionals in California.”