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The 14-younger team from Juneau's Midnight Suns Fastpitch Softball Association finished third out of 10 teams Sunday in the Tacoma Classic softball tournament in Tacoma, Wash., while 16-younger team from the Midnight Suns finished fourth out of seven teams in their bracket.
Four costly errors prevented the 14-younger team from reaching the final, as the Ultimate Blast from Seattle scored three unearned runs to take a 3-2 victory. Ultimate Blast, which won Washington's state tournament a week earlier, won despite a one-hitter thrown by Juneau's Ashley Larson.
Larson, who struck out eight batters and issued no walks, also led the Midnight Suns in hitting with two triples and two runs scored. Stephanie Smathers had two RBIs for Juneau.
"It was a great tournament," said Steve Bavard, the coach of the 14-younger team. "If we hadn't had a couple of errors we would have done better. But we made mistakes and they didn't, which is probably why they won the state championship last week."
Earlier on Sunday, the Midnight Suns 14-younger team crushed the Walla Walla (Wash.) Sting 12-0 as Arika Lindsey threw a two-hitter. Lindsey also went 3-for-3 with two doubles and three runs scored. Jordan Johnston went 2-for-3 with a triple and three RBIs for Juneau.
The Midnight Suns 16-younger team lost its only game Sunday, dropping a 7-2 decision to Team Fastpitch of Tacoma. On Saturday, the Midnight Suns tied Team Fastpitch 5-5 after claiming a pair of victories in round-robin play, 5-4 over High Voltage of Tacoma and 8-5 over the Lady Coyotes of Lakewood, Wash.
In Saturday's tie with Team Fastpitch, Shannon King was Juneau's pitcher and she hit a double. Tally Israelson scored two runs, while Lyndsay Forest, Stephanie Heard and Kristi Marshall scored once each. Besides King, Marshall, Rachel Barril, Sidney Wyman, Heard and Brittany Rohm had hits for Juneau.
In Juneau's victory over High Voltage, Heard was the winning pitcher as the Midnight Suns came from behind. Juneau had no extra-base hits in the game, which saw the Midnight Suns hit six singles. King, Barril, Marshall, Israelson and Jessica Grimm scored Juneau's runs.
In the victory over the Lady Coyotes, Israelson was the winning pitcher, while Marshall went 2-for-3 with two runs and a double. Grimm also went 2-for-3 with two runs, while Wyman hit a triple and scored once, and the trio of Heard, Rohm and Barril each had one hit and scored one run.
The Midnight Suns also had a 12-younger team on the road trip, but it didn't play in the Tacoma Classic. Instead, the 12-younger team lost four games in Vancouver, British Columbia, earlier in the week, then won three of four games in Victoria, B.C., to close out the trip.
On Saturday, Juneau took a hard-luck 2-0 loss to the Langford Lightning '89 team, despite a well-pitched game by Madison Massey, and then claimed an 8-7 victory over Cordova Bay. In the victory over Cordova Bay, Andrea Doerflinger was the winning pitcher, while Keri Williamson went 2-for-2 with a home run and Talisa Rhea hit a homer.
On Sunday, Doerflinger was the winning pitcher as the Midnight Suns claimed a 17-4 victory over the Langford Lightning '90 team, with Rachelle Miller going 3-for-3 with a homer, Massey going 3-for-3 with a triple, Rhea going 3-for-3 and Katilyn Fosket hitting a triple. Then, the Midnight Suns avenged their loss from Saturday with a 6-1 victory over the Langford Lightning '89 team. Massey was the winning pitcher, while coach Bruce Massey said Kayla Janelle got on base several times and created havoc on the basepaths and Fosket had two RBIs and a double.