Ashley Larson and Arika Lindsey combined to throw a three-hitter with eight strikeouts and no walks as they led Juneau's Gastineau Channel Little League Junior Division All-Stars to an 8-1 victory over Knik of Eagle River on Sunday at Anchorage's Abbott-O-Rabbit Seifke Field.
Sunday's victory, combined with a 7-0 combined five-hitter over Knik by the same two pitchers on Saturday, gave Juneau the title in the Alaska State Junior Division (age 13-14) Little League Softball Tournament. In both games Larson started and pitched four innings, then Lindsey came in to throw the final three innings of each game.
Juneau now heads to Mount Vernon, Wash., for the Western Divisional Playoffs that starts this Saturday. Juneau plays the Oregon champion in the first round, and last year's Oregon state champion went on to finish second in the national tournament.
"This group of girls won the state majors two years ago," coach Dennis Powers said. "I think they have the best chances of any Juneau team I've ever seen. They have two great pitchers and they're real focused."
In Sunday's title-clinching game, Larson went 2-for-4 with a double, two RBIs and two runs scored to lead Juneau. Jordan Johnston went 3-for-3 with two doubles, two RBIs and a run scored; Torie Powers went 2-for-3 with two runs scored; Nicole Bavard was 2-for-3 with a run; while Ilea Belcourt and Hannah Barril scored once each. The only run Juneau allowed was unearned.
On Saturday, Powers went 3-for-4 with a double, a runs scored and four RBIs to lead Juneau. Lindsey was 2-for-3 with a double and three runs scored; Melissa White was 3-for-3 with a run and an RBI; Johnston was 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI; Joy Ross hit a double and scored a run; and Belcourt scored a run. Larson and Lindsey combined to strike out five batters, walking one while three of Knik's five hits never left the infield.
Majors Division Softball
Two bad cases of first-inning jitters proved costly for the Juneau GCLL Majors Division All-Stars in the Alaska State Majors Division (age 11-12) Little League Softball Tournament at Anchorage's Abbott-O-Rabbit Seifke Field.
Both cases of jitters led to large early deficits in an 8-5 loss Sunday and a 9-2 loss Saturday to Knik of Eagle River , giving Knik the state title. Knik now heads to Couer d'Alene, Idaho, for the Western Divisional Playoffs.
In Sunday's game, Juneau scored twice in the top of the first inning as a two-run single by Andrea Doerflinger scored Sammy Roguska and Madison Massey. But Knik countered to score six runs in the bottom of the inning. Juneau chipped back to make it 7-5 Knik in the top of the fifth inning, as Tushyne Eyre scored runs in the fourth and fifth inning and Massey added a run in the fifth. But Knik scored another run in the bottom of the fifth for extra insurance.
On Saturday, the game started during a downpour while Juneau was in the field and Knik took advantage of five walks in the top of the first inning to score five runs. In the bottom of the inning, when Knik took the field, the rains stopped, Juneau coach Bruce Massey said. Roguska and Madison Massey scored the only Juneau runs in the bottom of the first inning.
Majors Division Baseball
Juneau East struggled in the field Monday, committing five errors that helped Sitka claim an 8-5 victory in the second game of their best-of-three-games playoff series in the District 2-Southeast Majors Division (age 11-12) Little League Baseball Tournament at Sandy Beach Park in Petersburg.
Sitka's victory Monday squared the series at one win apiece, since Juneau East won 5-4 on Sunday. The two teams will play an if-necessary championship game at noon today.
Sitka took a 2-0 lead in the second inning when Matt Loucks and Sean O'Neill both reached on errors, then David Miyasato hit a sacrifice fly. In the third inning, Sitka made it 3-0 as pitcher Bryn Calhoun reached on a fielder's choice and scored on a double by Loucks.
Juneau East scored a run in the third inning as Eric Greiner singled and scored on a fielder's choice RBI by Gary Stephens. But Sitka countered with four runs in the fourth to make it 7-1. Erik Buggins doubled, Orion Hughes-Knowles reached on an error, Calhoun hit an RBI double and scored on a misplayed grounder off Loucks' bat, then Loucks scored on single by O'Neil.
Juneau East scored once in the bottom of the fourth, as Chris Hinkley singled and later scored on a single by Clae Baker. In the fifth, Juneau made it 7-4 in the fifth inning as Stephens singled and scored when Nano Jacobsen reached on an error, then Jacobsen scored on an RBI fielder's choice by Bryan Crowder.
Sitka made it 8-4 in the top of the sixth inning when Kory Hansen reached on an error and later scored on a single by Buggins. Juneau East rallied for one run in the bottom of the sixth, as Nico Saldivar reached on a bunt single then scored on a pair of wild pitches. But Calhoun, who had eight strikeouts and one walk for Sitka, was able to end the rally.
Age 9-10 Division Baseball
Collin Monagle pitched a six-inning no-hitter on Monday as Juneau claimed a 7-0 victory over Ketchikan in the first game of the best-of-three-games playoff series at the District 2-Southeast Age 9-10 Division Little League Baseball Tournament in Ketchikan.
Monagle allowed four walks and Juneau committed two errors, but Ketchikan couldn't take advantage for a score. Monagle also added two RBIs and two runs scored from the plate. Jon Davis hit a three-run triple in the first inning for Juneau, going 2-for-3 with two runs scored. Sean Bavard added an RBI triple in the third inning and later scored a run for Juneau.
Juneau and Ketchikan will play again at 5:30 p.m. tonight, with an if-necessary game set for 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday.