Nunaka Valley Little League topped Gastineau Channel Little League 11-3 in the first game of the best-of-5 2010 Alaska Junior Softball Championship series on Tuesday at Melvin Park.
Nunaka, out of Anchorage, scored twice in the first inning to take the early lead, and added two more in the second with Denali Smith providing the spark with a two-run single for a 4-0 lead.
Juneau answered with two runs in the sixth on an RBI double by Kayla Balovich, who later scored to cut the deficit to 6-2.
Nunaka responded with a five-run sixth to stretch the lead. Devonne Troutman hit a three-run homer to center to highlight the big inning.
Juneau added a run in the seventh after loading the bases. Emma Good scored on a fielder's choice for the final run of the game.
Sydney Smith picked up the win for Nunaka, striking out five in four innings, and Smith came on in relief for Nunaka.
Kayla Balovich took the loss, giving up six runs in four innings, with eight strike outs. Control was the issue for Juneau, gave up 11 walks as a team.
The winner of the tournament will be crowned Alaska state champions, earning a berth in next week's West Region tournament, where a trip to the Little League World Series is on the line.
Play resumes today at 7 p.m. at Melvin Park, and all pitchers are eligible.
Juniors baseball 1 win away from state title
The Gastineau Channel Little League Juniors All-Star team defeated Abbott O'Rabbitt 7-2 on Tuesday in the second game of a best-of-5 championship series in Anchorage.
GCLL now holds a 2-0 series lead and is just one win away from the state championship and a West Region berth next week. The winner of the West Region earns a spot in the Little League World Series.
Tanner Petrie pitched 6 2-3 innings for the win, with Nathan Klein closing things out.
R.J. Markovich hit a solo home run in the bottom of the first inning.
Game 3 is today in Anchorage.
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