Juneau's Gastineau Channel Little League Junior All-Stars suffered their first loss of the Pacific Northwest Divisional Junior (age 13-14) Little League Softball Tournament on Monday, dropping a 3-2 nine-inning decision to Washington in Mount Vernon, Wash.
The loss to the Washington champions, from South Everett, dropped Juneau into the losers' bracket where they will play the Oregon champs, from Baker, at 4 p.m. ADT today. On Saturday, Juneau beat Oregon 9-2, but Oregon eliminated Montana 9-8 to stay alive. The winner of today's Juneau-Oregon game will play Washington for the championship, but has to win twice to claim the title in the double-elimination tournament.
"They're beatable," Juneau head coach Steve Bavard said. "We should have won this game."
Washington scored one run in the bottom of the first but Juneau tied the score in the top of the fourth inning when Ashley Larson doubled to right centerfield, took third on a sacrifice bunt by Jordan Johnston, then scored on a passed ball.
Washington added a run in the bottom of the sixth inning on a walk to Mandy McAfee and a trip by Britany Humphrey. Juneau tied the game again in the top of the seventh as Ilea Belcourt reached on a one-out error, then went to third on a single by Nicole Bavard. Hannah Barril tried to sacrifice the runners over, but Washington fielded her bunt and caught Belcourt between third and home. While Belcourt was in the rundown, Bavard moved to third and Barril was running to second, which drew a throw that sailed into the outfield allowing Bavard to score.
Washington won the scheduled seven-inning game in the bottom of the ninth. With two outs, Krista Richards reached first as Juneau's first baseman dropped the ball, then scored on a long single by Ashley Vick.
Larson threw four innings for Juneau, while Lindsey pitched the final five frames. Together they allowed three runs on four hits, while Juneau scored two runs on five hits. Larson and Lindsey hit doubles for Juneau.
"I congratulated them on not giving up," Steve Bavard said. "We got a run in the seventh with the bottom of the lineup at the plate. I think they were intimidated because Washington's a second-year team that won its state title last year. We took a little of their swagger away, and if we'd been the home team I think we would have beat them. We just didn't win the coin toss."