The Juneau Midnight Suns 14-under softball team reached the finals of the West Linn Tournament on June 23-24 in West Linn, Ore.
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Juneau won four straight games to advance to the finals but fell 8-5 in extra innings to the Scappoose Invasion in the June 24 final. It was the Midnight Suns' fourth game in a 24-hour span.
In the final, the Midnight Suns held a 5-2 lead in the seventh inning before Scappoose battled back to tie the game. The Invasion tacked on three runs in the eighth for the win.
"It was a sad loss but a hard-fought loss despite the chips being stacked against our pitching staff," Midnight Suns coach Mike Mauseth said in a release. "The teams we played against in this tournament all have city-wide tryouts and each have three to four pitchers who can pitch multiple games in a weekend tournament."
Kalea Chapman belted a two-run triple in the fourth to give Juneau the lead. The triple scored Megan Mauseth and Taylor Larson. Chapman came around to score later that inning on Jennifer Nelson's RBI single.
Kelsey Monagle singled and scored while Kyra Uddipa walked and scored in defeat.
Nelson pitched for the Midnight Suns.
"Nelson pitched a courageous game," Mike Mauseth said.
Juneau opened the tournament with an impressive 15-0 rout of the Portland Red Hots.
Chapman and Megan Mauseth joined forces to pitch the shutout.
Larson went 2-for-2 with seven RBIs, hitting a inside-the-park grand slam and a bases-loaded triple.
Kaci Hansen and Hailey Pusich each went 2-for-2 with a run scored, Uddipa went 2-for-2 with two runs scored, while Megan Hart and Megan Mauseth had three hits and two runs scored each in the win.
Juneau followed up the shutout win with a 4-2 victory over the Alliance from LaCenter, Wash.
Nelson pitched all seven innings in the win, allowing just five hits.
Uddipa doubled and scored, Megan Mauseth scored twice, Megan Wright had a run scored, while Chapman, Hart and Monagle had one hit each to pace the Midnight Suns' attack.
On June 24, Chapman pitched a complete game and went 3-for-4 at the plate with a double and a triple in the Suns' 10-3 win over the Sandy Steelers.
Gabbie Saldivar doubled and scored while Uddipa, Wright, Larson and Mauseth each recorded multiple hits. Mauseth tripled and drove in three runs while Larson tripled, scored twice and drove in two runs.
Monagle added a base hit and Hart went 1-for-2 with a run scored for Juneau.
Juneau advanced to the finals with a 4-3 win over the West Linn Lions on June 24.
West Linn scored three unearned runs in the first, but the Midnight Suns battled back in the win.
Chapman singled home Megan Mauseth in the fourth for the team's first run. In the fifth, Mauseth and Hart had RBI hits to tie the game.
With the scored knotted at 3-3 in the seventh, Wright recorded the game-winning hit when she drove home Monagle with an RBI single.
Mauseth pitched the first four innings while Nelson finished off the game for the win.
"It was fun, despite the loss, to see a team of 10 girls play at such a high level and have so many options to choose from when putting their lineups together," coach Mauseth said in the release. "It's the reason we travel. To play against better competition so we have something to look up to and attempt to attain that higher level of play."
Tim Nichols, sports editor, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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