The Juneau All-Stars got their bats going Sunday morning but ran into an even hotter team in a 13-8 loss to Southern California in the Little League Senior Softball West Region tournament in Missoula, Mont.
Southern California (2-0) scored eight runs in the third inning to upend the Alaska state champs.
"They were just pummeling the ball down the third-base line," Juneau manager Gail Fenumiai said. "They had a few between left and center field. Other than that it was just hard hit balls that took a couple nasty hops."
Juneau (0-2) opened up an early lead by scored two runs in the first inning.
The two teams exchanged runs in the second before Southern California broke the game open.
Juneau scored two runs in the third and three in the fourth, but failed to topple undefeated Southern California.
"I know we didn't get a lot of great hits today, but we were connecting better with the bat," Fenumiai said. "There were a few walks and we got some runners on base with walks and they ended up scoring."
After struggling with the bats Friday in the tournament-opening loss to Washington, Fenumiai said she was pleased with how her team rebounded.
"I think they did a good job," Fenumiai said. "They were connecting with the ball more this game but it still didn't land in our favor. They were a little more relaxed today even though we gave up those runs in that inning."
Sammy Roguska scored three times to lead Juneau. Carrie Laliberte had two runs scored while Trixie Abella, Nicole Young and Lourdes Andes each had a run scored.
Madison Massey started and took the pitching loss after throwing four innings. Laliberte pitched the final three frames.
Juneau faces Oregon (2-1) today at 12:30 p.m., PST. Juneau closes out pool play Tuesday against Nevada.
Despite starting pool play with two losses, Juneau still holds an outside chance of qualifying for the semifinals as one of the best two squads in the seven-team field.
"Each game something different starts happening for us and then something doesn't happen for us," Fenumiai said. "Hopefully everything will mesh for us (today) and that'll be cool."
Tim Nichols, sports editor, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org