The Juneau All-Stars dropped the opening game of the West Region Little League Junior Softball Tournament on Thursday in Tucson, Ariz.
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Juneau, composed of players from the Gastineau Channel Little League, fell 12-2 in five innings to the Southern California champs, Westchester-Del Ray from Westchester, Calif.
"The girls never gave up and had a complete effort, but a lot of errors," Juneau coach Dan Nelson said. "We probably gave 9 of the 12 runs to them."
Juneau, the Alaska state champ, actually took a quick 1-0 lead after the first inning as Megan Mauseth singled and scored. Taylor Larson drove in Mauseth for the go-ahead run.
Juneau held the lead until the bottom of the third as Southern California broke through for five runs.
Mauseth scored off another Larson hit in the fourth to slice the deficit to 5-2, but Southern California put the game away with two runs in the fourth and five more in the fifth.
"They had real good pitching and they had good hitting all the way through their lineup," Nelson said of the Southern California champs. "They played tough."
Mauseth had two hits and two runs scored while Larson doubled, singled and had two RBIs in defeat.
Megan Wright also singled for Juneau.
Juneau starting pitcher Jennifer Nelson struck out six batters in four innings while Kalea Chapman pitched the fifth inning.
Juneau fell to 0-1 in Pool A with the loss. The tournament is composed of two five-team pools. After round-robin play, the top team in each pool will face off in a best-of-three final for the right to play in the Junior Softball World Series.
Up next for Juneau is Corvallis, Ore., the defending West Region champion at 3:30 p.m. ADT today.
"It's a really great atmosphere here and pretty intense," Dan Nelson said. "The kids are all into the tournament. We've got 10 of the best teams in the West Coast playing so you've got to bring it and not make any mistakes if you want a shot to win it. We'll be back at it tomorrow and give our best."
Contact sports editor Tim Nichols at 523-2228 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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