Nunaka Valley tops GCLL Juniors for state crown

Posted: Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Gastineau Channel Little League 11-12-year-old softball All-Stars put up a fight but still fell as Nunaka Valley rallied and pulled away late Monday, topping Juneau 18-4 at Melvin Park to win the series in four games.

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Michael Penn / Juneau Empire
Michael Penn / Juneau Empire

"We couldn't be prouder," Juneau Manager Randy Bates said of his team's performance in the tournament. "They fought and they battled. It was a long journey in terms of learning more about the game and raising their skills. We're happy and proud of the girls, as happy as we could have been."

Morgan Hill tripled to right field and then scored on a high throw that sailed to the backstop to put Nunaka Valley on the board.

Juneau took the lead in the bottom half of the first with a two-run triple from Makayla Harp, scoring both Erica Maiquis and Meranda Frenzel, who had walked.

Frenzel extended the Juneau lead to 3-1 with an RBI single up the middle to score Maddie McKeown who also walked.

But the Nunaka Valley bats erupted in the third for six runs to give them the lead for good.

A Juneau error allowed two Nunaka runners to come across the plate and even the game at three, and a bunt single from Hill helped score Blair, giving it a 3-2 lead. Lauren Syrup added to the advantage with a two-run double, scoring both Hill and Felila Manu, and Syrup later scored from second base on a bunt off the bat of Alexis Joubert to give Nunaka Valley a 7-3 edge.

McKeown walked with the bases loaded in the third to score Jordan Harris, who had singled, cutting the deficit to 7-4 going into the fourth.

But a misplayed fly ball in the outfield allowed Sierra Rosenzweig to score and extend the Nunaka Valley lead to 8-4 in the fourth.

Nunaka Valley tacked on 10 more runs in the sixth with RBI doubles from Leilani Blair, Jacynne Augafa and Syrup, an RBI triple from Manu and a two-run single from Julia Merritt to break the game open.

Nunaka Valley will represent Alaska in the West Region tournament in Kirkland, Wash., next week.

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