Three different age groups of Juneau's Midnight Suns youth fast-pitch softball organization enjoyed successful tours of Oregon last weekend.
The 12-and-under age group stormed into play at Newberg, Ore., and captured the silver bracket championship, winning five of six contests, in the 24-team tournament.
"It was pretty awesome," Mike Mauseth, 12-and-under coach said. "In the practices, the kids were really working hard and having fun. For them, it's a joy to be on a team with kids that just don't have any egos. They all pull for each other and understand that everyone can play each position."
The 12-and-under Suns captured the championship on Sunday by outscoring three different opponents by a combined score of 28-6.
The Suns defeated The Dalles Herricanes 12-3 to capture the championship. Peyton Millay scored the Midnight Suns first run in the first inning and the team added five runs in the second to put the game away.
Gabbie Saldivar and Megan Hart each hit doubles and Taylor Larson hit a home run in the win. Jennifer Nelson earned the pitching win.
The Suns also defeated the Clackamas Twisters 8-3 as Kalea Chapman, Nelson and Cassie Anderson each went 2-for-2. Megan Mauseth doubled and Larson went 1-for-1 with two runs scored while Keauanna Miller, Kyra Uddipa and Hart each had base hits in the win.
In the opener, the Suns skunked the Eugene Rebels 8-0.
Nelson had five strikeouts in four innings and Megan Mauseth fanned the side in the fifth to seal the win.
Chapman tripled and scored, Larson went 2-for-2 with two runs scored while Uddipa and Miranda Vaughan each recorded a base hit and a run scored.
"We were cutting down the lead runner on almost every occasion," Mauseth said of the Suns' defensive prowess. "Our catcher, Kalea Chapman, did a great job. Out here they use a lot of tactics to distract the defense, but the drills we had gone through worked great."
In Saturday's pool play, the Suns won two of three contests.
The Suns routed the Corbet Cardinals 21-5 behind three extra base hits each from Chapman and Miller.
In the second game, a 10-5 win over the Elmira Crushers, Mauseth tripled and scored twice while Uddipa and Vaughan each doubled and tripled.
The Suns suffered their lone defeat of the tournament on Saturday, falling 9-5 to the Reeser Wild Rose.
Megan Mauseth went 2-for-2 while Hart singled and doubled.
While the 12-and-under team topped the competition in Newberg, the 14-and-under squad captured second place last weekend in Junction City, Ore.
The 14-and-under Suns highlighted Saturday's action with a 12-0 rout of Coos Bay, Ore. Darby Brown hit a home run and Randi Chernikoff earned the pitching win.
On Sunday, the Suns opened play with a 10-0 win over the Eugene Northstars. Brown hit a home run while Chernikoff picked up the pitching win and Krista Barril earned the save.
In the second contest, the 14-and-under Suns rallied from a four-run deficit to upend the Keizer Celts 10-4.
Kirsten Barry earned the win and Barril picked up the save.
The 14-and-under Suns streak came to halt in the championship, however, as the Roseburg Warriors toppled Juneau's Midnight Suns to win the title.
Down the road in Canby, Ore., the Midnight Suns' 16-and-under team took third place in a 24-team tournament last weekend.
On Sunday, the Suns toppled the Umpqua Valley Lady Trojans 8-5 behind a complete-game pitching effort from Madison Massey.
Cortney Wagner went 2-for-2 in the win.
The Sun followed up with a 9-0 shutout of the Ocean City Nightmare.
Carrie Laliberte fired a two-hit shutout and went 3-for-4 at the plate. Ashliegh Wilwert had two triples, Nicole Fenumiai tripled and Trixie Abella made an outstanding over-the-shoulder catch at first base.
The Suns fell to the Eugene Storm 9-8, but earned third place.
Laliberte went 3-for-4 with two triples, Sammy Roguska and Wilwert each hit home runs while Nicole Young had two base hits in the loss.
The Suns played a doubleheader on Saturday, beating the Eugene Rampage and Team Killer Bees.
Juneau dropped the first game to the Rampage, 9-7, despite a 3-for-4 effort from Roguska. Wilwert went 2-for-4 and Laliberte added a base hit.
In the second game, the Suns routed the Killer Bees 12-4.
Laliberte earned the pitching win and went 4-for-4 with three runs scored. Wilwert went 4-for-4 with a home run, Nicole Fenumiai tripled and walked and Lourdes Andes scored twice in the win.
Tim Nichols, sports editor, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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