In the grand scheme of things, Monday's round-robin pool-play game between Juneau's Gastineau Channel Little League Senior All-Stars and the Kirkland (Wash.) Americans didn't mean that much.
Both teams already had clinched berths in today's 5 p.m. (ADT) championship game of the Division 1 Senior Division Little League Softball Tournament at Parkrose Little League's Burnside Field in Portland, Ore.
But not meaning anything wasn't an issue for Juneau, which stormed to a 14-4 victory in a game called after six innings because of the 10-run rule. Juneau stayed undefeated in the tournament with a 4-0 record, while Kirkland fell to 2-2.
Earlier in the day, Kirkland beat winless Union County of Cove, Ore., 2-1 to eliminate Union County from the tournament.
"It was a moot game, but our girls said 'No, we're not going to lay down,'" Juneau manager Dennis Powers said. "Today was irrelevant for both of us, but our girls used the game for hitting practice."
Juneau bashed out 19 hits, including four doubles, on offense. That helped relax Katie Laliberte, who is fourth in Juneau's pitching rotation, so she could throw a complete-game five-hitter.
Right fielder Ambyr Benson, who usually rides the bench, went 3-for-3 with a double, four RBIs and three runs scored to lead Juneau's offense. Normal third baseman Ashleigh Wilwert also went 3-for-3 with a double, two RBIs and a run, even though she didn't enter the game until the fourth inning when she took over in centerfield.
"I usually sub in for Ambyr, but she's hitting so well I left her in for the whole game and she'll probably play the whole game tomorrow," Powers said.
Laliberte helped her cause by going 3-for-4 at the plate with two RBIs and two runs. Rachelle Miller was 2-for-3 with an RBI and two runs, Madison Massey went 2-for-4 with a double and two runs, while Alicia Maryott scored twice, Andrea Doerflinger had an RBI and a run, and Sammy Roguska scored once.
Today's game will be broadcast on KJNO radio, 630-AM. The winner of today's rematch between Juneau and Kirkland will go to the Western Regional Tournament that starts Saturday in Chico, Calif. It will be the third time in three days the two teams have played each other (Juneau won 8-3 on Sunday).
"Our girls are pumped. They want to go to Chico," Powers said.
In other Little League tournament action Monday, the Juneau Juniors softball team was idle in Billings, Mont., and the Juneau Juniors baseball team was idle in Forest Grove, Ore.
The Juneau Juniors softball team plays Milton-Freewater (Ore.) at 10 a.m. (ADT) today in the semifinals of the Division 1 tournament, with the winner playing in the championship game at 4 p.m. Those games will be broadcast over the Internet at http://www.golivesports.com.
The Juneau Juniors baseball team won't play its first game of the Western Regional tournament until 4 p.m. (ADT) Wednesday when Juneau takes on the Utah state champion in a round-robin pool-play game.
Juneau also plays Washington at 10 a.m. Thursday, Idaho at 1 p.m. Friday and Northern California at 10 a.m. Sunday in round-robin action. The top two teams in each of the two round-robin pools will meet in semifinal games on Tuesday, Aug. 10, with the championship game on Aug. 11.
All the Juneau baseball games, except against Washington, will be broadcast on KJNO radio. The Washington game will be broadcast on the Internet at http://www.golivesports.com.
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