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Juneau's Gastineau Channel Little League Senior All-Stars took until the fourth inning to get their offense going twice on Sunday, but it was enough to pick up a pair of victories in the Division 1 Senior Softball Tournament in Portland, Ore.
In a round-robin pool-play doubleheader, Juneau beat the Kirkland (Wash.) Americans, 8-3, then edged Union County of Cove, Ore., 3-2, at Parkrose Little League's Burnside Field.
The victories left Juneau the only undefeated team left in the three-team age 15-16 tournament with a 3-0 record, guaranteeing the All-Stars a spot in Tuesday's 5 p.m. (ADT) championship game.
Juneau completes the round-robin portion of the tournament at 5 p.m. today when it takes on Kirkland (1-1), which also plays Union County (1-2) at 2 p.m. today. The top two teams play in Tuesday's championship game.
"We'll start Katie Laliberte today and save our other pitchers for the final," Juneau manager Dennis Powers said. "We burned Madison Massey today, so she can't pitch Monday. But we knew we'd have to burn someone today."
In Sunday's early game, Juneau trailed 1-0 entering the fourth inning when the All-Stars rallied for a 4-1 lead. Juneau also trailed 1-0 in the fourth inning of the late game, but the All-Stars tied the game in the fourth and took the lead in the fifth inning.
Andrea Doerflinger went 3-for-4 with a triple and two RBIs to lead Juneau over Kirkland, while starting pitcher Alicia Maryott was 2-for-3 with two RBIs. Kayla Janelle was 1-for-3 with two RBIs and two runs scored, while Ambyr Benson went 2-for-2 and Laliberte was 1-for-1.
Maryott pitched four innings, allowing one run and striking out three, while Massey pitched the last three innings and struck out three while allowing two runs.
In the late game against Union County, Massey's triple knocked in starting pitcher Doerflinger with Juneau's first run.
In the fifth inning, Benson singled with one out, was sacrificed to second by Sammy Roguska, then Janelle singled to put runners on first and third. Janelle stole second, getting in a rundown so Benson could score. Janelle made it safely to second so she could later score an insurance run on Doerflinger's double.
Doerflinger started and allowed just one hit - an RBI double by Shelby Williams in the second - and struck out six hitters over four innings. Massey relieved and allowed two hits and one run over three innings while striking out three.
"They played hard," Powers said of Union City, which lost 12-0 to Juneau in the tournament opener. "We had a few chances where we should have had the sacrifice, but we weren't getting our bunts down. Small ball wasn't working that well for us today."
In other Little League tournament action, Juneau's GCLL Junior All-Stars completed the round-robin portion of the Division 1 Junior Softball Tournament on a winning note, blanking Evergreen (Vancouver, Wash.) 11-0 in a game called after five innings in Billings, Mont.
The victory gave second-seeded Juneau a 3-1 record in round-robin pool play. That was the same record as top-seeded Boulder Arrowhead/Big Sky of Billings, which won the tie-breaker because it beat Juneau 11-3 on Saturday.
Juneau is off today, then plays third-seeded Milton-Freewater (Ore.) about 9:30 or 10 a.m. ADT on Tuesday in the semifinals of the tournament (the game starts 45 minutes after the early game ends). Today's only game pits fourth-seeded Evergreen against fifth-seeded Lewiston (Idaho), with the winner playing Boulder Arrowhead/Big Sky in Tuesday's 7:30 a.m. semifinal.
The championship game is at 4 p.m. Tuesday, although its starting time might be moved up a bit if there is a threat of bad weather.
In Sunday's game, the first four spots in the lineup combined for 10 of Juneau's 17 hits as Juneau took a 7-0 lead in the second inning and added four more runs in the fifth. Carrie Laliberte went 3-for-4 with a double and the game's first two RBIs, Nicole Fenumiai was 3-for-4, while Darby Brown and Trixie Abella both went 2-for-4.
Sasha Frye pitched five scoreless innings with four strikeouts and five hits for the victory.
In baseball action, Juneau's GCLL Junior All-Stars are still waiting for the start of the Western Regional tournament at Lincoln Park's Bond Field in Forest Grove, Ore. That tournament opens on Wednesday and Juneau will play the Utah champion in the first game of the round-robin portion of the tournament. Juneau also plays Idaho on Friday, Washington on Sunday and Northern California on Monday in round-robin pool play.