The Juneau All-Stars dropped their opening game of the Little League West Region Senior Softball tournament Friday, losing 5-3 to Washington on Friday in Missoula, Mont.
Juneau, representing Gastineau Channel Little League as the Alaska state champs, loaded the bases in the bottom of the seventh inning but failed to get the winning runs home to win the close contest.
"It was kind of tough," Juneau manager Gail Fenumiai said. "We just weren't hitting the ball where we needed to. We were hitting the ball where they were. We only had six singles the whole game."
Lindsay Birk, Sammy Roguska, Britt Weideman and Nicole Young all singled for Juneau.
Weideman scored in the third inning while Madison Massey and Cortney Wagner scored in the seventh.
Carrie Laliberte started the game and pitched four innings while Massey pitched the final three innings.
"They held their composure well," Fenumiai said. "When things got tense, they stayed positive and kept a positive attitude for the whole game.
Juneau (0-1) takes on Southern California (1-0) this morning at 10 a.m., PST.
There are seven teams competing for the right to play in the Little League Senior Softball World Series in Roxana, Del. - Alaska, Nevada, Northern California, Southern California, Oregon, Arizona and Washington.
Each team will play four games. The two teams with the best records following pool play will then play a best-of-three series for the championship.
"There's some good competition here," Fenumiai said. "You've got Arizona and they have four pitchers. We saw their No. 3 pitcher and she's pretty good."
Tim Nichols, sports editor, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org